Intense pain defies words. It is captured instead in fragments by the soul. On mornings when I wake to the heaviness of all that keeps breaking in our world I know I must strap on my pink trainers and head out to walk-run-pray. It is my most desperate grasp for God’s help in containing the pain so that it doesn’t spill out into every crevasse of my day. I need my feet firmly planted. On days like this I just need more of God. I need to know He is bending low. We work with and for people who are intimately acquainted with suffering. Their suffering is carried as our own and creates this constant tension between the comforting truths of Scripture and the desolation of broken shalom.

Mending the Soul supports and resources God’s choice leaders who minister in violent, oppressive places to marginalized people without human hope. This month our brothers and sisters in Eastern Congo are not just defending themselves against ADF rebels but now face an invisible enemy, Ebola. How can we even grasp that kind of trauma? To not have enough money for the smallest things such as soap or anti-bacterial gel to help defend oneself or one’s children from such an invasive, formidable enemy.

God calls us to enter into the mystery where His promises such as Psalm 18:29 which states

As for God, His way is perfect;

The word of the Lord is proven;

He is a shield to all who trust in Him.

sit juxtaposed with the unrelenting suffering of His people around the world.  This is the space He invites us into with an expectancy that He will speak and make Himself known in ways we can hear and comprehend. He did that for me today. I needed Him and begged for Him and waited with what Ignatius describes as an imagination opened to the Spirit world.

I had walked five miles and was a block from home. Still waiting. Then, with vivid clarity God brought to my mind an interaction I had three days earlier with Ella, our five-year-old granddaughter, when I was putting her to bed. We were cuddled under a pile of covers in my bed reading books. Kinson, her younger brother, had fallen asleep on my chest and it was just Ella and I. As I finished book #5 she looked up at me with her big green eyes and said, CeCe, did you know that the world is spinning really, really fast and that we can’t even see it? It never stops but even though we live on the earth we don’t fall down or get dizzy. Isn’t that weird?

We talked about the craziness of all the things that are invisible to us that are still true, such as God’s existence and the Spirit within us. She then, very soberly, grabbed my arm and closed her eyes, instructing me to do the same. CeCe, I’ll tell you a secret. Close your eyes and focus! Like me. Do what I’m doing and focus until you feel it—even just a little bit. There! Did you feel that?

She was on to something; I focused, and I did feel it.

I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:3).

The incredible thing about this story is that I did experience just what she said I would! I did feel the earth move just a little bit as Ella predicted.

God, at the end of a sweaty and emotional prayer walk, revealed Himself in the form of a memory that directed me back to the truths found in Hebrews 11.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.

By faith Moses… persevered because he saw Him who is invisible.

 

Psalm 18:29

As for God, His way is perfect;

The word of the Lord is proven;

He is a shield to all who trust in Him.

 

—Celestia Tracy, August 2018


Posted: August 31, 2018