‘You look a bit lost, girl.”
I sink down beside her on the kitchen floor and I know sinking. The cork floor’s cool.
“You feeling lost, Shalom?”
She’s got her arms wrapped around her knees, pulling everything right under her chin, those curls of hers spiralling down everywhere, everywhere spiralling.
Shalom, her name means wholeness, delight, the fullness of the way things ought to be. And here she is balled up in the corner of the kitchen feeling nothing is the way it should be.
I know this — how do the Shalom people find their way out of anti-Shalom lives?
How do we find our way back to Joy?
I slide up beside her, between the stove and the fridge, wait for her to slip words out through the keyhole of whatever’s locking her up.
From down here, the windows over the table unfold the sky like a Jacob’s ladder, blue giving way to blue to darker October blue.
“Just. such. a. loser.” She mumbles the words into herself, crinkling her nose, shaking all those curls down like she’s shaking herself hard. What game was she playing with brothers that landed her here?
Shalom tilts her head and her curls part and she lets me in:
“If you’re a loser, are you lost?”
It’s like there’s an echo, her heart throbbing my life.
Do I tell her —
that everyone’s looking for signs and wonders and falling is disorienting and who isn’t fallen and just a little bit lost and none of us are alone? We’re all heartbroken.
Do I tell her that the Gospel means you are done with the exhaustion of trying to be earn anything, that the good news is that you don’t have to earn good.
To somehow wrap around this fallen world’s fragility in just this:
Christianity isn’t a ladder the good climb toward being better — Christ’s a lifeline that the bad hold onto in their failure to be good.
Because the truth is: in Christ, that two way street living of “this for that” is over — because that kind of living always comes to dead ends.
True, we live in a two-way crazy love — all God’s love directed towards us, all our love directed back toward Him.
But maybe everyone feeling lost and spun and looking to find their way Home, maybe they just need to know this too:
Real Joy is found on a one-way street: Every good gift comes solely from God, and flows simply through us into the world, and is our only gift back to God — that made by the very grace He alone gave.
Real Crazy Joy is found on a one-way street.
In the Kingdom of God, all the arrows go one way — and all the roads circle.
He is the only source, the only fuel, the only way. He is the Journey. And He is the destination. In His presence is fullness of Joy — crazy, encircling, joy.
She nods. She knows her name — who she’s called to really be.
“Honey — ” and I scoop her up on my lap.
“Every time you feel lost, the map back to happy is really simple:
Jesus’ grace is the one-way love that gets you back to Joy.
Jesus takes you. Jesus takes you.
And He’ll take you all the way Home.”
And it comes in the kitchen, comes to a young girl and an old girl with arms wrapped around each other, comes like pure relief —
Blessed assurance, Jesus assures: You don’t have to pull yourself up by your bootstraps — you only have to pull close.
Day 3: Catch the whole 31 Days to Crazy Joy series right here
Every Wednesday, we Walk with Him, posting a spiritual practice that draws us nearer to His heart.
For the next 3 weeks: The Practice of Joy…. What does it mean to choose Crazy Joy? How do we authentically walk through hard times? How do practice the “gigantic secret” of Christians? We look forward to your Scripture study, stories, encouragement….
Today, if you’d like to share with community The Practice of Suffering … with Joy.. just quietly slip in the direct URL to your exact post….. If you join us, we humbly ask that you please help us find each other by sharing the community’s graphic within your post.
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