…and it’s ok to cry today…but tomorrow…well tomorrow we will keep fighting, keep believing, keep talking, keep declaring truth and hope and one day we’ll declare it to our adoptive sons and they’ll declare it to their sons until this present reality is a past nightmare.
There is a beautiful song, “It is well with my soul.” I’ll be the first to admit I love the heart and premise of this song: that God is good no matter what horrific thing happens. Yes! Unapologetically Yes! I do know that to be true. Even if you don’t believe God exists or Jesus is real, most people believe that life has a way of working out. Some call it karma. Some see it as time healing all wounds.
Last night after a very long day at work I was sad about a lot of circumstances. I probably should have snuggled my family and just sat in the sun, but I was not okay. So I ran. I ran farther and longer than I intended and was gone more than my family probably needed. Those that have followed this journey know depression is real for me. I guard what slippery slides I go down, but yesterday instead of listening to my favourite podcast and laughing I knew I needed to experience this emotion. As tears streamed down my face on this warm afternoon I knew I just couldn’t make sense of what I have seen and felt in the last few weeks.
I was listening to one of my favourite albums that help me regain faith and strength. “It is Well” began to blare in my ears. I love this song. I have loved this since I was a small girl in church and I heard the hymn version and the story behind the hymn. But yesterday, yesterday it was not well with my soul. Tears began falling which makes it very difficult to run and I looked like a freak but there I was running through my city fully invested in my present. Let me be clear God is good. Period. No question for me. Exactly for that reason I could not say it is well. And I don’t think God wants my soul to be well with some of the things going on in this world. Spouses should not die of cancer. Parents should not hit their kids. Ever. Humans should not be bullied and shot for their skin colour or race. Ever. Daddies should not die leaving their girls to figure out life. Terrorists should not hold hostages when people are getting their morning coffee. Spouses should not have affairs. Little girls should not be sex salves. Ever. University students should never hang black & brown people in effigy. Ever. Never. Babies should not die. Women should not have to convince men to let them use their gifts. Sigh. See it is not well with my soul when I see these things happening. Today. In 2014. What the heck?!
So today it is not well with my soul and somewhere in the quiet corner of my heart I think God agrees. He is good. It is precisely why I do not think it is well with my soul. It’s why I love that my friend Hayley is a surgeon training and always learning about the human body. Researching new techniques and new innovative procedures. It’s why I love that my friend Brandy is diving head first into the uncomfortable mess that is unfolding in America with people of colour and whites. Her dad is a well respected white American retired policeman and yet she positions herself to listen and learn and rallying more former students that she could have ever dreamed to do the same. Not debate but listen and make her theology active not just published in a paper or read in a book.
It’s why I love watching my friend Shannon not only hold hope and keep watch for our friends in the most difficult and hard moment of their lives, but also give others a chance to tangibly help. It’s why I love what my friends, Banning and Sea are doing out of a dream to give others access to hope. Real hope. A community of people that cry, laugh and are allowed to be real in the hardest moments of life. But most importantly they do it because they believe God is good and if people could just experience that goodness they know their life will be forever changed. It’s why I love watching my roommate from college and her friend group rally in tangible, emotional and financial ways around their friend that became a widow far too young. They give her strength, babysitting, and space to be this new version of herself. To see herself as strong and powerful even as she grieves and raises three young girls.
It’s why I love my wise friend Dana Masters who challenged me to press into the emotion and horror but not stop there.
So no it’s not okay with my soul. Don’t be confused, as I finished my run at the beach today I put that song on repeat and wrote these thoughts out. It is well with my soul that God is good. It is not well with my soul all that I see these days. That is the beauty of these awful ashes of pain and evil. We are the answer. Our passions. Our strengths. Our fire of injustice burning deep within us. Our ability to organise out of chaos. Our ability to write songs that comfort, inspire and lead. Our crazy desire to make an impact on the world. Our belief that we could end racism with understanding and listening. Our value that love always wins. Our gift to create business that gives others jobs. Our selves showing up like Glennon says.
As I leave the beach today my prayer is that you know God is good and not who some, well meaning but horrible representative of His love, showed you. My other silent prayer today is God, may my soul never become confused with believing your goodness and excusing injustice and bad and evil things. No God please don’t let my soul say it is well when it is not. May I change what I can. And may You see humans changing evil in this world and may You say it is well with Your soul.