My heart is definitely in the painful state of refining these days.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all bad. A lot of positive changes are taking place, and I know that even the things that feel hard in this moment will grow me. But man, the world feels weighty today.
I miss my husband. I was so hoping that the day I moved to Kansas City would mark the end of us ever needing to be apart for more than a day or two at a time. Being here without him has been good, though. It has gone a long way in reminding me why I wanted to be married to him in the first place. Just his presence in my life on a daily basis is more of a blessing than I could ever explain, and it’s a wonderful and terrible thing to have to miss that presence so much that I’m aware of its blessing-ness in the midst of the every day that so often wears us down and makes us forget about the beauty in our lives. He’s my best friend, and missing him reminds me of that in a painfully real way.
Yesterday afternoon, I had an experience I don’t believe I’ll soon forget. About halfway into my four-block walk from the school to the train I take to get back home, I passed a young guy on the street. At first glance, he didn’t look like anything out of the ordinary; about my age, a little taller than me, shaggy blond hair. But immediately after we passed on the street, I heard him say, “Miss?” And so I looked back to see a face that was bleeding, a blackened eye framing blue irises that were filled with more pain than I’ve seen in person in a long time. And when I looked at him, he looked back down at the ground and said, “Do you have any change?” And I gave my automatic response: “I’m sorry, hon, I don’t have any cash.” And he nodded and walked away, and I turned back to my journey to the train station.
And it was a lie. It wasn’t a conscious lie, it was out of my mouth before I even gave thought to the ten dollar bill in my purse, the one I don’t usually have. But I have been well-trained by my surroundings, by our love for both personal independence and personal safety. And I think that was the first time in my life that I’ve ever stopped to think about it. I just finished reading Crazy Love today, and it’s been amazing–but it has messed me up. I find myself asking questions that I’ve never asked or even considered before. And I can’t get that guy out of my head. I mean, he was my age, and you could just SEE the hurt all over his face, outside of the literal physical wounds.
And you fight not to find yourself thinking, “Well, he’d probably use it to go buy liquor or gamble.”
So? I spent it on Chinese food. In the grand scheme of things, did I put it to a use that was all that much more noble and self-sacrificing and eternity-weighted?
And even more so, did God call us to worry about what the poor do with our money when we give it? Did He call us to hold on to our resources so that we might make it more convenient for Him to use them when we give them away?
Or did He just call us to give with abandon, and to trust Him with what He does with the re-gifted blessings that He gave to us in the first place?
There’s this continuous voice playing in my head.
Nothing you have is actually yours. So when you give it away, you give it back to Me. And it is safe there. You are safe there.