Down comes the mallet

I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother;
you were very dear to me.
Your love for me was wonderful...
II Samuel 1:27

No one can heal the hurts and brokenness of life like Jesus can. Pointing out the superficial layers only intensify the alienation and lack of love that is causing the problem in the first place. Grace gets to the root rather than excusing and ignoring the behavior. It’s a tough job being a part of a community that is tied together by love rather than by performance and appearance. Grace always comes at the cost of self-preservation. Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived. (Galatians 6:1-3) from Grace Is For Sinners by Serena Woods
I love how God's lessons for me fit the seasons. Cancer treatment in the bitter cold and desolation of November. A hot summer full of frazzled brain waves and the storms of seizures for my sweet baby girl. Now a December laden with the silence of snow is full of silence...a phone that's stopped ringing, an empty e-mail in-box and a shrinking list of friends on Facebook along with a shorter than usual stack of Christmas cards. I am on the bitter end of the Christian community and it is eye-opening. I have been here before. It makes me cry out for mercy and beg God for justice and for grace. Revelations 22:20 is wrung from my heart strings and my trembling lips as I hide my breaking heart from my kids in the shower: Come, Lord Jesus, come! 

I learn afresh that the more we are alone in this world, the more we are cast on the God who longs for our friendship...finding new sweetness and fullness in the silent conversations of the heart, the quiet of the days, the stillness that is a home with four walls and your own children. He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children (Psalm 113:9). I vacillate between peaceful joy in this quietest of Christmas seasons, and heartache and brokenness as I am cast daily onto the Rock. A heart that is beaten is tender though - like the mallet to the steak, every blow breaks down the threads of these heartstrings, and Jesus binds them up in a soft soul beating quietly in His presence once all the tears have been spilled.