We’ve dragged ourselves out of bed early to meet together as we do each week. This time, I won’t run away. I won’t shut down. I’m not sure what happened last week.

Sometimes it feels as though no one wants to speak. I wonder whether it’s pride or shame or just awkwardness. For me, it can be a combination of all three. But this morning we are sharing slowly yet openly. Fatigue, discouragement, disappointment, suffering, intimidation, and fear reside in our words, yet we share them and they become less cavernous, less consuming.

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Where was the Father when the Son was suffering?

This question guts me. It makes me say the f word in my head and shake from desperately holding back tears. I need to answer it for myself because I know where I think He is during my suffering. Not here.

But then came the resurrection. So it would be wrong of me, even evil, to say the same about Him during the crucifixion. 

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I have lost the experience of your presence. I can no longer see your face. Truths that were once sweet do not comfort me. Pour out your soul, analyze your hopes, remember the lovingkindness of God, and preach to your heart.

Is this a desert of my own making? I know what to do yet I don’t do it.

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I see you. You lie to me so often, I hardly notice. You tell me he doesn’t love me. You tell me we won’t change. You tell me hope is lost, fear is fine and comfort cannot be found. While I easily and quickly believe you, you’ve been noticed. I see you and I’m fighting you.

Sincerely not yours,

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The young girl showed up in front of me quite unexpectedly this morning. She exclaimed my name with such joy and gave me a hug. Next she kissed me on the forehead. It was sweet and uncharacteristic. It had been a long time since I had seen or talked with her. When they’re so young, you’re never sure if they remember you. She did the same to T, kissing him on the cheek.

This evening, as I resumed writing again for the first time in a while, a thought came to me about that moment. 

That kiss was from me. A kiss from God. I cried.

When I told T he said, “That doesn’t seem crazy to me. It certainly was out of the ordinary and strangely compassionate of her.”

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I feel numb. I do not mourn as I think I should over this election. I believe I should because millions now fear for their futures and the futures of their children. (The fact that I do not feel this acutely is a bullhorn announcing my privilege; I am aware of that now.) When they were already feeling oppressed and unwelcome, their fears are now touted by the man we just elected to represent and work for us on the world’s stage for the next four years.

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Now I’m thinking, why not pursue a life of stepping out of pain rather than burying it or holding onto it like a trophy simply because that’s the norm? Why not choose to be free? If we are brave enough, we don’t have to carry our wounds for the rest of our lives. We don’t! We can let pain out of the shadows. It may be excruciating to do so but the fear of being seen is temporary and soon after, relief, hope and best of all, healing rush in. I took a step to do this with one thing in my life yesterday. Honestly, I was afraid but I don’t regret it. It was a step toward wholeness, toward freedom.

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