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Come Jesus, Come

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The cross anchors suffering and beauty.

 

I’ll pray come Jesus, come.

Because I don’t know how to pray when little girls disappear off the map and grown men are afraid to find them because of machine guns poised to blow the search for justice into a million little pieces:

Come Jesus, come.

Because I don’t know how to pray when the world is on fire and when the winds act as demons and when the earth seems to tremble with rage, swallowing up what He called “good” those many years ago (and still calls good today):

Come Jesus, come.

Because I don’t know how to pray when planes are shot right out of the sky and the bodies of the innocent are strewn across the fields like candy from a child’s birthday party piñata with no one there to scoop them up into the dignity they deserve:

Come Jesus, come.

Because I don’t know how to pray as children are massacred and beheaded for the sake of “spiritual cleansing” and parents are taken captive with empty promises only to be crucified the moment they dare to close their eyes and exhale with false hope from a depraved and deceived people bent on evil:

Come Jesus, come.

Because I don’t know how to pray when entire neighborhoods and communities crumble into fury incited by racial hatred and blinding misunderstanding, thoughtless pride and misplaced trust while the lines blur between who’s  protecting whom or if anyone really cares at all:

Come Jesus, come.

Because I don’t know how to pray when a young, faith-filled joyful mother of four is eaten alive by a violent cancer and is given weeks or months to live, even under the most aggressive of treatment:

Come Jesus, come.

Because I don’t know how to pray when disease ravages communities and nations, bringing death in it’s wake to a continent already groaning under the weight of systemic poverty and crushing injustice and too many years of an overlooked and forgotten blood-soaked soil:

Come Jesus, come.

Because I don’t know how to pray when chubby babies and strong fathers lose their ability to move and talk and breathe far before they’ve lost their heart and will to live and their soul to love and their lives to influence and teach and bring change in a world desperate to believe:

Come Jesus, come.

Because I don’t know how to pray when words cut jagged and bias runs deep and the loudest “truths” triumph over the faint but sure whisper of Hope and Healing, Compassion and Grace, and the Love that is true, pure, never failing, and all-embracing:

Come Jesus, come.

Because I don’t know how to pray when wombs burst forth with life only to be deflated by the slow bleed of broken dreams and snuffed out promises while others remain empty (so, so empty) and arms are aching with the weight of nothing:

Come Jesus, come.

Because I don’t know how to pray when abusers are excused and manipulation is justified while those battered slink back defeated, wondering if anyone really believes their pain is real or cares about their anguish or would validate their suffering at all:

Come Jesus, come.

Because I don’t know how to pray when brothers declare war on addiction and sisters search for answers while shrouded in a darkness that threatens to suffocate the invitation of the Light (Light which is both freeing and terrifying), while those looking on are stuck in a worldview that says simply pray your way out of the mire (but how can we “cast out” the darkness when it’s woven right through us?):

Come Jesus, come.

Because I don’t know how to pray when families are forced from the only homes they’ve ever known and run toward safety merely to be met with exclusion and closed doors in the very places that built their foundations on asylum, refuge, freedom, and opportunity:

Come Jesus, come.

Because I don’t know how to pray when there’s carnage and war and hatred and innocent lives thrown under the train of an age-old battle over land and home and birthright and the interpretation of a promise built on faith:

Come Jesus, come.

Because I don’t know how to pray when difference divides and inclusion gives way to exclusion and real people with real souls and needed voices don’t feel welcome at the pulpit or the table of communion:

Come Jesus, come.

Because I don’t know how to pray when the Church turns on herself and is charged by fear of the “other” and denominational lines stand thicker than oceans where no engineer has yet to discover how to build a fear-proof bridge that reaches far or wide enough:

Come Jesus, come.

Because I don’t know how to pray when politics divide, education falters, drugs destroy instead of heal, sex divides, money becomes a seed for corruption and earthly kingdom building instead of a seed for planting and feeding and resourcing the poor, identity morphs into a brand and currency, and relationships live and die on the alter of platform:

Come Jesus, come.

Because I don’t know how to pray when we’re tempted to prove ourselves worthy of salvation and work for our deliverance and turn righteousness into an agenda item to bookend our daily litany of “important” to do’s:

Come Jesus, come.

Because I don’t know how to unsaturate our waterlogged minds of the immorality masked in “normal” as we press play and turn up the volume and scroll through the rubble delivered to our doorsteps, taking no notice of the hidden costs and fine print describing the slow hardening of our hearts and brainwashing of our minds:

Come Jesus, come.

Because I don’t know how to pray when we’ve forgotten how to listen – to one another, to our elders, to our children, to our neighbors, to the women, to the poor, to the hurting, to the outcast, to our past, to our hearts, and to our God:

Come Jesus, come.

Because I don’t know how to pray when swords look nothing like ploughshares and deserts just look like deserts, no water, no life, no oasis in sight:

Come Jesus, come.

Because I don’t know how to pray when it’s hard to see the upside-down Kingdom through the upside-down world around us (and it sometimes feels too hard to even try):

Come Jesus, come.

Because I don’t know how to pray as the world groans for reconciliation and all things to be made new as we wait and long for a new heaven and a new earth in which every knee will bend in unison and every tongue will give birth to a confession of worship of the One Who Loves Without Fail because we will be His people and He will be our God and there will be no more weeping, no more pain, no more mourning, no more death:

Come Jesus, come.

Because not knowing how to pray doesn’t hinder my belief in a God who’s DNA is love and cells multiply hope and touch brings healing and eyes speak compassion and heart beats reconciliation and so I’ll keep praying:

Come Jesus, come.

Come Jesus, come.

Come Jesus, come.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” –Revelation 21:1-5, ESV

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6 Comments

  • Reply Julie Walter 14 August 2014 at 12:39 pm

    These have been my thoughts exactly! I’ve been thinking, How do I go about my normal day, and not feel depressed because of what others have to go through? I have a wonderful life. I have so much more than I could possibly need, in every way that a human has needs. Why do I have so much when others have so little? I was discussing this with my husband yesterday, and we just decided that the only way to stay positive in such a wicked world is to remember that the Atonement really does lift us, through everything we experience. If we give our loads (even if those loads have more to do with the sorrows of others than our own) to Jesus He will carry them. Because He already has the load. We never needed to carry it on our own in the first place. I know that through the Atonement, not only can we be forgiven, but we can feel our burdens lighten. Even people going through unspeakable suffering can have their loads lightened through the Atonement, so that should give us comfort. Another thing that helps me is knowing that this isn’t the only life. There is life after death, and not just a life being an angel in a choir. Just as a child has the potential to become like their parent, we have the potential to become like our Heavenly Father. All that we experience in this life can be made for our good if we turn to Jesus. This knowledge is what brings me happiness. Thank you for being something positive for me. I love reading the things that you write. I hope this doesn’t make me look like a stalker 😉 but I think of you often (partially because you give me things to think about), particularly in the mommy area. I hope so badly that you get another baby that you get to keep in your arms. ❤️ Your friend you never knew you had. 🙂

  • Reply He came because of #Ferguson - Adriel Booker 14 August 2014 at 1:37 pm

    […] We have so much to learn, but we won’t if we are unwilling to try. And even if we struggle to find the words to say, at minimum we can continue to pray: Come Jesus, come. […]

  • Reply Robyn B 14 August 2014 at 4:26 pm

    sometimes there are no words! just come, Jesus, come!
    lovely post 🙂

  • Reply Lisa @bitesforbabies 14 August 2014 at 10:52 pm

    Such thought-provoking and profound words, Adriel! You are such an amazing writer! I too feel the same way….I consider myself to be a very spiritual person and my faith in God’s plan is what keeps me grounded.Having said that, I often question myself as to how these horrible things can happen and why “He” lets them happen. I do believe they are all part of a big plan that we cannot even begin to comprehend. That’s what I tell myself so as to better accept what goes on around us every day!

  • Reply Seth 18 August 2014 at 3:08 am

    Yes and amen to all of this.
    Seth recently posted..On 6 Steps Through Cynicism (And a Book Birthday)My Profile

  • Reply Exploring the Motherheart of God 14 September 2014 at 11:11 pm

    […] summer has been called a “summer of suffering” by many. Even as I was still reeling in the fresh wake of my second miscarriage, it felt like […]

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