Missed bedtimes.

I knew that whenever I posted my next entry, whenever that was, as a NYC blogger I would be remiss in not mentioning Hurricane (Superstorm?) Sandy.

Though, the truth is, it is hard to explain how I feel about it when really, how I feel means nothing in the midst of such loss and devastation.

I spoke with some people who agreed it is hard to feel like this storm was a blessing for many reasons and created memories I won’t soon regret; like playing Uno by candlelight and seeing how friends come through for you when all you crave is a hot shower and reading more books that I’ve read all year when there was no electronic for me to check.

Yet, people lost lives and homes and memories and to feel like this was some sort of fun event for me is wrong.

Again, hard to put into words.

***

It is weird looking back at the last entry I wrote.  I say this so often that it really is going to lose meaning in no time–I have so much I want to write and do not make the time, or effort, to do so.  And so it feels like I am writing about the same things over and over again.  But here I am again; grieved at the loss that those around me experience and not knowing what to say or how to help them in their sadness.

But I will share this.

I felt a pressing sense that day that this was not a circumstance to handle alone. I knew my family needed to be there with me.  Not for me, but to surround this family with as many bodies as able.  I knew their oldest children would need a reprieve from their sorrow, and a surprise visit with a good friend would be just a tad of what they craved.

And so I spoke quietly and calmly with my husband as I shared my heart.  And in that moment, I threw out schedules and we packed our car later than we would ever do on a school/work night and we drove the miles necessary where faith is put into action.

Because, you see, the Gospel is not found in getting my child to bed on time.

It’s not found when we teach him to be compassionate, and yet when those around us our suffering we do nothing.

The Gospel is seen and heard and felt when we take the words of Jesus and apply them to every single area of our life.  When affirmations of “Be the hands and feet of Jesus!” are put into practice and a tiny-for-his-age 8-year-old boy puts his arms around a younger boy and whispers I’m sorry.

And in a flash, they bound up a flight of stairs and watch movies and eat popcorn and that little boy who is hurting may momentarily forget the pain that awaits him.

Because a friend was near.

And I always, seriously always, stress about the call I feel to be a writer but the fact that I never ever ever (Taylor Swift, I am totally channeling you right now) want to make it about me.

No, I seek to encourage YOU.

Be there.

Be present.

When we put our arms around those who are hurting and in need, we become Jesus to them.

Now don’t go getting any theologically twisted ideas about that previous statement.  Think about what I mean.  God uses his people as vessels.  We are the physical as He cannot be.

But He is always there.  Oh, sweet Lord, You are always there.

We shed our tears as we pray to You and whisper words of comfort though it is so hard for them to come when we have run out of things to say.

But sometimes, being present is enough.

And sometimes, missed bedtimes are too.

The Gospel is so much more than routines and your schedule.

Make time to display it as your heavenly Father would have you to do.

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