"Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it."
~ Mark 14:23
Today I was reminded that the "Will of God will never lead us to where God's grace will not sustain us."
Today at lunch I was invited to share of my experience the day of the Santa Fe High School shooting. As I prepared to speak at today's luncheon, I realized that I continue to process conversations, the images that I saw, and just what the over all experience brought to my life.
There are simply those experiences when sown into our lives yield harvests that we cannot explain. Even as I shared, I discovered the anger that I still felt. The great sorrow that seemed to overwhelm our community, and the pain that many people still cannot escape nine months later. The real understanding that this happened "here," and in not someone else's back yard like Parkland, Sandy Hook, Columbine... and on and on and on, just seems to capture me in a way that continues to paralyze my thinking, and causes my faith to strain to understand how God's creation can be so destructive.
Sometimes it is simply hard to understand how God who loves us so unconditionally, can be present in our times of great joy and of great pain. Of being present in the dying moments, and present as a disturbed young man loads a gun.
The appearance of Jesus reminds us that God's grace can withstand the final breath, and leads us into eternity. That God loves us unconditionally from eternity to eternity, and that entering into relationship with pain and suffering, somehow evolves and shapes our faith in a way that when we succumb to the end of life, we are resurrected.
Today as I shared of our wounded community, I realized that in my own woundedness I can still speak of a loving God who continues to hold us. Even for the silent young man sitting in a jail cell just miles from where I was speaking who did these terrible things sits with God as well.
We are still the created living with the Creator. Even when we are wounded. God is aware of our pain. I was reminded today as I shared that we are still vessels of the living Christ, and as vessels, sometimes we must be willing to be held. Especially when we find that we have been broken. It is in the moments where we feel or appear to be empty that God reminds us to "hold firm," and to sit and allow God's goodness and mercy to fill this vessel once again.
I'm grateful for the opportunity to share, even when feeling broken...
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2019
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.