I listen until my heart hurts, for over an hour, before walking away not knowing if any of it has made a difference. I am tired and worn down by her words and the desperation she feels. Frustrated by the psycho-babble phrases thrown in, the “self actualisation”, the “strata configuration” and the “finding your comfort place”. Her world is in turmoil and that is how I feel as I listen; at sea, washed over and worn smooth by the waves of her voice and the problems I cannot solve.
Not long before, we heard about the God who calls people to follow. The God whose call cannot be refused. The God who puts all else in perspective and sheds light on our darkness. I might have raised my eyes at the oil for anointing, but tears spilled over moments later as a young man went forward. I cried for his honesty and his bravery, wondering if he would ever know how much God rejoices to see his people admitting what they are. All of us the same, broken and desperate.
We sang a song about the things of earth growing dim, and they did for those few hours. The readings and the alphabet learning, the weekend plans and the exercise you didn’t do and the computer that broke and the text message you wish she hadn’t sent meant what they should, almost nothing.
God is faithful, and constant and true and just. He knows and he calls and he opens eyes and he blesses… he did tonight. He blessed his sheep in Newtown, hearing his voice at last or yet again. He blessed his sheep typing softly in her room before sleep, thankful for Jesus who knows me and whose blood washes me clean.