“God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn’t come through.” – Francis Chan

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“Gardening takes patience.”

Such was my thought, a couple weeks ago, when I set out to water and weed. Ever year I seem to forget how long it takes for the little seedlings to sprout, and then grow bigger and mature—especially very early in the season before it’s quite warm.

At first, gardening is very exciting. There is great anticipation of all the potential life that will soon burst forth from the numerous seeds being carefully tucked into the earth. When the first green sprigs appear, there is further motivation to continue to be faithful. As time goes on, and the weather grows warmer, or the seedlings slow down in their growth, it takes a little more dedication to get out there on a daily basis to keep an eye on the plants, and keep ahead of the weeds. Keep reading…

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This week, thanks to a friend of mine, I read the trilogy by Penelope Wilcock called The Hawk and the Dove. Without writing a book report on it—although I may do that later—I’ll briefly say that the book is a collection of stories a mother tells her daughter about their ancestors who lived during the middle ages, two of whom were monks who lived in a monastery. Most of the stories are of the men living in community in the monastery. Now I’ve made it sound like a dull book, but it was just the opposite, and the characters in it were very real people. The Hawk and the Dove contained very honest portrayals of human struggles and suffering, and the questions we face in life. I’m still digesting all I read. But, to get to the quote I wanted to share…

In book two, entitled “The Wounds of God”, Melissa’s mother (she is the one telling the stories in the book) shares with her daughter:

…[W]e can offer no solutions, no easy answers, to other people’s tragedies. We can only be there. It is Jesus they need, not us, and even he offers no answers. He offers himself. It is when people find their way through to him that the pain of their life becomes the pain not of death, but of birth. A thing of hope.

That is so true. So often, there is nothing to say to ease someone’s pain. Simply being there, and loving them like Jesus, and pointing them to Him and to His love and His comfort is enough, and better than trying to say something.

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