People > Portfolios (Part 2.)
I wrote a blog recently about the housing crisis in Nicholtown. The blog was a form of lament, and the tone reflected that. We are currently walking through this crisis in real time with dear friends. My heart is heavy, and my stomach is in knots. I’ve been experiencing anger, grief, and a ton of confusion. Why would God allow this? Why do people continue to do this? What hope do we have that things will change? Theoretically (even theologically) I know the answers to those questions, but when the circumstances of life seem to defy your theological categories long enough, it makes your gut question what your mind knows. Those questions have haunted me lately, but I haven’t had the emotional energy to take them to the Lord in search of hope. (A hope that satisfies my heart as well as my mind).
But I think that’s okay. Sometimes we just need to sit with our grief and allow it to have its way with us. Life can be really sad. Injustice is real. Pain is real. Beautiful people experience things they should never have to experience. This past week I witnessed a mom navigate the impossible scenario of having to tell her daughter they were going to have to move…again…and while she wasn’t sure where they were going, everything was going to be okay. “It’s mommy’s job to figure that out, not yours.” I saw another neighbor who has the most gentle spirit, weeping at my dining table as he considered having to move his 90 year old mother to a strange neighborhood over Thanksgiving. “We’ll have to spend the holidays alone…we won’t even know anyone.”
To hell with that. It shouldn’t be that way. It doesn’t have to be that way. It’s one thing to witness a tragedy. It’s another thing entirely to witness an unnecessary tragedy unfold… senseless and avoidable harm. These families should be secure. No mom should have to navigate that conversation with her child. Life doesn’t have to be like that. There is enough to go around. It’s just out of balance. The world is off-kilter. Can we just sit with all of this for a moment?
Life is not as it should be.
Take a deep breath and allow life’s tidal wave of cruel truth to take you under water for a bit.
Don’t come up for air yet.
You can hold your breath longer.
Allow your heart to be sad.
(Take a moment here to close your eyes and consider the families all throughout Greenville County who are experiencing housing insecurity. Consider them. Consider the mothers whose anxiety won’t release them to rest at night as their minds race through possible solutions to impossible problems. Consider the 9 year old who will say goodbye for the last time to her neighbor friends, with tear-stained cheeks. Consider the middle school student who will be rezoned, and forced to start over at a new school…again. Consider the elderly woman in her final years of life, weary and tired, who thought surely by now she would experience rest. Consider the immigrant family, navigating a new culture with more hoops to jump through and fewer networks of support. Consider them. Precious. Loved and honored by their heavenly Father. Marginalized and transgressed by their brothers and sisters.)
“Yet they shamelessly cheat widows out of their property and then pretend to be pious by making long prayers in public. Because of this, they will be severely punished.” - Jesus
Do your lungs burn yet?
Is your heart on fire?
Let’s come up for air and take in the hope we desperately need.