Twice this week I have found myself crying in the grocery store. Earlier in the week, my eyes were leaking while looking for cereal. Then yesterday, tears pooled in my eyes while perusing the pasta aisle. Supposedly when hard or strange things happen, people have a bias toward normalcy. In the midst of situations that are surprising or overwhelming, people tend to find relief in everyday tasks.Maybe that is why I found myself twice crying and processing while grocery shopping.
Dear friends and ministers of the gospel in our city are walking through the depths with Covid. Their son is my son’s age, and we adore him. The reality that a boy my son’s age should have to shoulder the weights he is bearing overwhelms me nearly to the point of paralyzation.
With that as the backdrop, the national events of the week felt like too much. My brain has processed the events that unfolded at the Capitol building, but my heart has not caught up. I saw the fear in my older boy’s eyes as we processed these events as a family.
Overcome by evil and brokenness. Helpless and powerless. Vulnerable.
Those big emotions were roiling in my soul while my cart was rolling through the grocery store. And my eyes were the release valve for the pressure that was building.
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21).
I know this verse well. It comes out of my mouth like muscle memory when my boys are in a squabble, returning tit for tat. But this morning, my soul needs to sit inside this short sentence and nestle down into these truths.
I cannot visit the hospital. Neither can my friends, even though their father and husband has been there for weeks.
Outside of my right to vote and my responsibility to be informed, I feel helpless in the current political situation.
To be honest, I want to numb myself and run away from the uncomfortable. But God has been so clear that he wants me to sit in these feelings, to wade into these puddles of fear and dependency. To wade, but also to wait on Him.
For we serve a God who is well-acquainted with brokenness (Isaiah 53: 3–4). We worship a Savior who willingly let the weight of evil crush him on the cross (Isaiah 53:5). But He rose from the dead, overwhelming the overwhelming evil with a goodness that could only come from Him.
Even if He doesn’t immediately fix them, He meets us in the places that paralyze us. And as we wade and wait, He invites us to do the next right thing.
Which brings me back to the grocery store. I don’t love cooking, and I am not particularly good at it. But I can make a decent veggie lasagna. I can pray while I boil noodles. As I layer pasta and mozzarella, I can consider the layered love that Christ has shown for a mangled humanity.
Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15).
This feels small, but the One who hung the stars told us this is how we move forward until His return. So lasagna by lasagna, letter by letter, small act by small act, we walk in His great love.
He will return. And all the suffering and confusion and helplessness will overwhelmed and swallowed up by life.
He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from the earth, for the Lord has spoken. It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation (Isaiah 25:8-9).
Until then, we make lasagna and we trust in His steadfast love.