Tuesday, January 17, 2023
Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them and give them gladness for sorrow. —Jeremiah 31:13
On the days when I believe, the sun streaks across these East Tennessee hills, showing me that green isn’t one color but a million. The infinite deep blue of the sky feels less like an endless void ready to swallow me whole than an open and generous invitation, beckoning all of us who are prone to wander.
On the days when I believe, the raucous laughter of my kids sounds like the prelude to a grander symphony, a promise of unadulterated joy to come.
On the days when I believe, I regard the tulip tree outside my kitchen window and learn from it. Rooted but flexible, it adjusts to the seasons, offering its abundant nectar to bees and butterflies during times of flowering and then seeds and shade to birds and squirrels after that.
On the days when I believe, I feel enfolded in a story so much greater than my own. It’s a story that knits together a thousand generations of saints—which is to say, folks like you and me who wrestle with their questions and their doubts, who interrogate the systems and structures of the society around them, who search for a way to make sense of it all, and who wonder whether they belong and whether they’re loved. It’s a story that makes audacious claims about a man-god named Jesus and calls us into his outstretched arms.
On the days when I believe, a prayer feels as if it’s just another beautiful beat in a long-running conversation. Nothing is withheld. Everything finds its place, whether lament or hallelujah. I’m convinced it is all heard, because it’s a whisper into the ear of an attentive God who loves me and whom I love.
And then there are the other days. —Jeff Chu, Wholehearted Faith
Hold me on the days I believe and carry me on the other days. Amen. —The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster