Last week I wrote about Mother’s Day. My thoughts, fears, and hurts going into the weekend. A should have been mom’s perspective on this lovely and hellish day of the year. A shout out to the other ones who should have been, because I know there are others. And sometimes solidarity is all we’ve got to offer. I wrote that post as a part of just continuing to process all this hurt. I wrote it because for the first time I had some actual, valid thoughts on a holiday that can be so accidentally exclusive. I wrote it because the thought of that Sunday truly made me want to crawl under my covers and stay there for a full 24 hours.
But you want to know what happened? SUNDAY DIDN’T SUCK SO BAD.
I woke up in Austin surrounded by some of my favorite people on this planet earth. I woke up to text messages from friends telling me Happy Mother’s Day, they were thinking about me today, they loved me, etc. I woke up to Facebook messages and posts on my wall saying the same things. I came home to cards in my mailbox for days.
I have said before that this whole thing has been so lonely. This experience is so unique. There are like zero people that I know who have walked this exact road before. It’s a weird situation. It makes literally no sense to any human who has a brain. It’s totally out of the box.
But you guys met me there. You met me in the middle of this hell hole I find myself in. You met me in the middle of a hurt you don’t truly understand. You met in the middle of a situation that can’t be fixed. You met me in the middle of my grief. When the world tells us that grief is weird and messy; that we shouldn’t talk about it. You met me there. I felt seen. I felt validated. I felt not forgotten. It was hands down one of the neatest experiences I’ve ever had in this life. Like, I’m choked up writing these words right now that’s how cool it was for me.
I’m doing the She Reads Truth Nehemiah bible study right now. If you are not, you really should be. We were in the first few verses of chapter one the other day. Nehemiah has just heard that the wall protecting his home town of Jerusalem was broken and the gates were destroyed. All of his people are in trouble and hurting. Things are bad. Nehemiah is removed from the situation. He no longer lives in Jerusalem. He’s working for the king. He has a wonderful life. But when Nehemiah hears this news, he hurts with his people. He hurts with them from a distance. He weeps. He mourns. He prays. He confesses. He fasts. For a lot of days. They said something in this post that when I read it, I stopped. I got kind of choked up. I read it again, and then I wrote it down. They said this:
We have a lot to learn in our study of the book of Nehemiah. But even in this first day, even in setting the stage for what is going to be accomplished in the hearts and lives of the people of Israel, the sovereign God is showing us something awesome about biblical compassion: it is not characterized by platitudes; it is characterized by action.
Lord, rend our hearts for the hurting today. Let us not allow our own comfort or safe distance from pain prevent us from seeing and loving others as you see and love them. Move us. Break us. And build us back up for your glory. Amen.
The sovereign God is showing us something awesome about biblical compassion: it is not characterized by platitudes; it is characterized by action.
For me this sums up the people in our lives right now. The people that are hurting with us- whether it’s here in Nashville or from a distance. The people that are loving in the middle of a situation they are removed from. The people that are loving outside of themselves. Loving outside of the box. Loving with action. May it be that we all love in this way.