Nearly 5000 counted dead in Nepal. Massacre killings of Christians in Kenya. Orphaned and starving children in multiple countries. Riots in Baltimore.
My pain seems petty at best.
Lord, I don’t even know if I should bother trying to talk to you. Can you even see me in the midst of the dark around here? Forgive me for my selfishness in needing to cling to you right now. You have countless in crisis; I am not in crisis. I trust you have heard my prayers for the hurting, lost, broken, lonely, scared, and angry. I don’t trust that the prayers for myself matter, so I don’t pray them. I don’t really need anything. Just You. Your presence to reassure me that even though the world is falling apart You are not falling away from me.
Leanne, go outside.
His invitation is undeniable. “Okay, but only for a minute. I am tired.”
Stepping outside, the view from the vista upon which my balcony sits is breathtaking. The kind of breathtaking where I simultaneously suck in air yet spend air whispering, “Wow!”
“It’s beautiful, Lord.”
Take it in. Let go for a moment and enjoy this.
I lean my arms on the balcony railing, resting my chin on my hands. I breath in deeply and exhale, letting the tension deflate from my body.
“Lord, I am so tired. I could fall asleep here. The sun is warm on my skin. Thank you.”
I pull up the chair behind me and sit. Settling in low, I raise my feet to the balcony railing and let my head fall back, resting it on the back of the chair.
Close your eyes.
The darkness behind my eyes blocks my sight and turns up my other senses. Afternoon sun blankets my face and soaks through my jeans.
“This is nice.”
What do you hear?
“I hear the river. It’s rushing… it sounds like white noise. White noise blocks out the world noise. I can hear You, Lord.”
What do you see?
My eyes focus on the black behind my eyelids. Only it isn’t black. “I see orange and yellow with moving sparks. Brightness from the sun absorbing the dark. My mind’s eye captures what sight cannot ever see. I see You.”
A slight breeze sends a chill over my skin. The brightness behind my eyes goes gray, evidence that clouds are moving in.
“Lord, I’m cold. I should go inside.”
Wait. Not yet.
Like turning up the dial on the thermostat, heat and light spread again upon my face and arms. My jeans are hot to the touch. My skin prickles in goosebumps, responding to the certainty that God just wrapped His arms around me. His presence in the warmth enveloping my body is undeniable.
“Thank you, Father.”
Open your eyes.
I open my eyes just as a blanket of gray washes out the sun and carries in a chilly breeze.
“Lord, it’s cold.”
Go inside. Sleep. It’s okay.
I don’t have to see God with my eyes to know He’s with me.
I don’t have to hear God’s voice with my ears to know He’s talking to me.
I don’t have to feel God’s fingers on my skin to know He’s touching me.
In a world that is falling apart and needs God more than ever, He’s here… with the dying, the lost, the broken, the angry. But also with you and with me. There is no pain or request that is too petty for God, no matter how much devastation the world is facing. You still matter in the midst of the world’s tragedies.
“Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Genesis 28:15
Side note: I did go inside to sleep, and I woke an hour later to the biggest most beautiful hail storm I’ve ever experienced: