Some days I'm grateful for masks. Especially on those no-make-up, tired-eye, or swollen-tear-faced kind of days. Some days the mask I wear isn't to cover bare skin, under eye bags, and signs of age. This mask I put on to cover who I am. To cover my past. My flaws. My hurt. My brokenness. My fallenness.
I have fallen more times than I care to admit. Fallen into a "little" sin that seemed to creep in without me realizing. Fallen quietly without anyone noticing but me.
But other falls? They have been not so tiny. They have been not so private. And they have been not so quiet. We all fall and often when we do, the mask we have been hiding behind is removed.
Our prayers move the heart of God.
Did you know that?
Sometimes those prayers come out of a difficult season. Some of those prayers are born out of poor decisions we have made, out of trials we are suffering, or out of circumstances within or around us. Some prayers end up blooming out of important lessons; prayers that help train us and build faith that could not be built quite the same under other circumstances.
Gather- It’s a word that many like to use, but perhaps one that many of us have taken for granted. It reminds us of meals with friends, holidays with family, and coming together to worship.
Biblical festivals were a time to gather, but God instituted these gatherings for more than just providing a time to celebrate, laugh, and practice traditions. These festivals were created to remember the past. Why? Because too often, we forget.
This Holy week, when many of our Easter traditions are modified, my family is incorporating a new one.
I am not a minimalist.
Not in any way, shape, or form.
My family actually laughed when I told them that the subject I was going to be writing about was minimalism. My daughter even teasingly went as far as to say that I like to hoard things.
I certainly do not. At least I do not hoard "things", anyway.
Fear. I know it well.
Fear and I were good friends.
Years ago, late at night, my house was intentionally shot at.
My son has a favorite stuffed animal. It goes everywhere with him. In the car. To the store, the park, to Grandma's house. When he is scared or scrapes his knee, that stuffed animal is there to comfort him. He may need me too, but that little animal is what calms and soothes him. One look at this bedraggled stuffed animal and you know it is well loved; precious in the eyes of my little boy.
When my son fell the other day and hurt his arm, he reached for that animal, and it got me thinking. As adults, we don't have a favorite stuffed animal to comfort us (at least most of us don't - if you do, it’s ok! no judging here!). So, if not a stuffed animal, what do we cling to when we are scared or hurt? What do we reach for in the dark and lonely places? When everything around us seems foreign and chaotic, where do we turn?