It was a beautiful night.
Still. Today, I've felt a hurricane of mixed emotions. Because we heard late last night that Ash's P.E. coach passed away.
And my heart hurt.
I saw the photos online of the child refugee who drowned (who was one of several).
My heart breaks more.
Honestly, I don't want to think about it. But I can't look away and I shouldn't. All I can do is hurt and pray. I need to do those things. I need to feel it.
There are beautiful, wonderful moments in life. Like last night. But that doesn't erase the truth that there is so much pain around every corner. It's a mixed bag, this life. Sometimes the level of injustice leaves us hollow and aching, doesn't it? It does that to me.
I've thought about Ash's coach all day. We talked about it with her this morning. What hovers over me is this fact that people are broken all around us--and they seem fine. They look all right. They smile and wave.
But inside, they're broken and need more.
Aren't we all like that, to some degree or another?
I don't know about you, but I know there have been days when I've held it together and seemed fine, but I felt splintered underneath. There have been days I've felt overwhelmed. There have been times when I've cried by myself.
I keep thinking about Ash's coach, who's with God tonight. I think about his little family. At bedtime, Ashtyn whispered, "I hope he's okay."
And I'm feeling so many things. One song kept flooding my thoughts all day. It's an older one. Leeland, Carried to the Table.
The table has been a theme of my summer because of book club. You can't read Bread and Wine and not see the beauty of the table. The beauty of community. The warmth of food and family and friends. The taste and feeling of communion with God. There's something wonderfully nourishing and life-giving about taking your place at the table.
I was carried to the table
Seated where I don't belong
Carried to the table
Swept away by His love
And I don't see my brokenness anymore
When I'm seated at the table of the Lord
(Leeland, Sounds of Melodies)
Those words kept circling my heart. A promise and a relief. That there comes a point where we don't see our brokenness anymore. Not because we look past it, but because it isn't there.
I think of the photo of that little boy on the sand. Oh Lord. I know some of us would have gladly made room at the table for him.
I've been so heavy-hearted all day, lovey. There are many who are in pain and hurting in this world.
Sometimes they are right in front of us and we don't see it. (I definitely feel that tonight.)
Sometimes they live in our houses and we don't know what to do so we don't do anything.
It makes me feel hopeless, to be honest, lovey. And I don't want to feel that way. Despair leads us into dark places. Love leads us in the right direction. Really, we're all broken. Sometimes we feel it more than others. Sometimes we show it more than others. I think loving the people around us might make all the difference. Seeing each other. Offering compassion. Reaching out and touching the person who God has placed right by you. Crying real tears for strangers. I think that's where we start. And it's time to start, if we haven't already.
This birthday was a joyful one for me. I crossed over the threshold into my 36th year with candles and frosting and all good things. I'm so grateful. As I write this, next to me I've got a mountain of laundry to fold. (Folding is not my favorite, lovey.) Piles of tiny little socks and pajamas and pink shirts and blue-jean shorts. Then there are my clothes too. Not to mention Jeff's clothes. All jumbled together.
I love this family.
Love matters the most. It heals us. It holds us together when we're breaking. It brings out the best in us, even at the hardest moments. The truth is that it's okay to hurt. To share the pain of others. To share our own pain.
There's room at the table for all of us.