Advent #3: The Speed of Advent

December 15, 2014 — 1 Comment

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We all seem to be in a terrible hurry, especially this time of year. It’s as if we’re in a contest to see how many things we can cram into December, and right about now, things are starting to pop back out. There just isn’t room.

The speed of the holidays is manic, and its sound is shouting. We’re racing to meet a deadline (which happens to be the birthday of our Lord), after which we’ll run a few more laps to make sure we catch the post-holiday sales. And let’s not even mention what happens in our kitchens. It starts out happy, with spoonfuls of cookie dough and giggling, but it ends with muttering, cupboard door slamming, and hearing the stroke of midnight come and go before we fall into our beds, exhausted and overcooked.

The speed of Advent, in contrast, is slow.

We remember Mary and Joseph, as they painstakingly made their way to Bethlehem by donkey, stopping every so often so that Mary could rest her aching back. We remember the journey the wise men took, following only the star for months and months, believing they would arrive when they needed to arrive. We remember those long months that Mary and Elizabeth spent together, holding each other’s hair back when the morning sickness came, and whispering far into the night. And we remember the labor itself, of which we know very few details. But if Jesus came out like most of us did, it was a long night, and in between contractions, Mary and Joseph almost certainly played gin rummy.

During Advent, we are reminded to slow down and breathe, because he’s coming when he comes, and there is very little we can do about it, except wait. And while waiting can be terrible business, it can also be wonderful, as long as you give up trying to control every single thing about it.

What would it mean for you to replace hurry with a deliberate slowness in the ten remaining days of Advent? To prepare meals slower, to drive slower, and maybe even to talk slower? To go to bed earlier? At your next Christmas party, try to simply be in the presence of the person with whom you’re talking, instead of glancing around and wondering how you’ll make it through. Waiting can be wonderful, as long as we give up trying to control every single thing about it.

I’ll leave you with one of Ruth Haley Barton’s prayers*. Perhaps it can be a lifeline to you, slowing you down, and anchoring you into the calm waters of Advent.

O God of peace, I pray that you will sanctify me entirely, even during this season of busyness and distraction; may my spirit and soul and body be kept sound (even as the world around me gets more and more frantic) and blameless (even as I am tempted to give up and give in to it all). I do so desire to be awake and alert to all the ways the Lord Jesus Christ comes into my life amid impossibly full days. O God, I know you are faithful and that you can do all this. Amen.

* Taken from 2014 Advent Reflections

Advent #2: Preparing a Way

December 8, 2014 — 2 Comments

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In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 

That’s what the prophet Isaiah wrote so very many years ago, and we can almost see his tears staining the page. It was a warning and a blessing, all mixed together. It was good news and bad news. Someone is coming, he croaked, and it’s time to get ready. We can assume the people kept driving right on by, as Isaiah stood there on his street corner, black words scrawled on a brown cardboard sign. We can assume people didn’t want to make eye contact. He was a little crazy, after all.

But someone did come, as it turned out, even though almost no one was ready. He came in the desert, and he came with good news and bad news. His name was John the Baptist, and he dressed like Isaiah did, all burlap and beard. He invited people to a river of repentance, and many people flocked to him. They confessed their sins in that water, and they came up clean. They were straightforward about stopping and changing the direction of their lives, because Someone was coming after John that would finally set things right. A King was coming, who would rule a different kind of kingdom.

It was time to prepare.

And this Advent season, it’s time to prepare again, because Someone is coming once again, to finally set things right, to redeem and restore all things. It’s time to be straightforward about stopping and changing the direction of our lives. It’s time to remember who God is, who we are, and who our brothers and sisters are. It’s time to confess.

So how exactly are we supposed to do that?

Confession isn’t browbeating and wallowing in shame. Confession isn’t making sure you feel badly enough so that the forgiveness really counts. Confession isn’t making long lists and wringing your hands. There are no bonus points for those who feel extra guilty. Confession is simply being straightforward with yourself, with God, and with another human being, about what really is messed up in your life.

Where are you hiding? Where are you closed off? Where are you living as if you are the one who has to hold it all together? What have you done that has hurt yourself or someone else? Where are you consuming another human being? Where are you living as if you had no limits?

I’ve found it helpful to approach it first of all by clenching your fists. Literally. So – go ahead: clench your fists, right now. Squeeze them as tightly as you can. Can you feel how much energy that is taking you to keep them clenched? Hiding your sin is like that; it takes extraordinary energy. With your fists still clenched, whisper, “Have mercy on me, Lord.” 

Then, as specific things come to mind, open your hands and give them to God. Feel how different it is to hold your hands relaxed and open, versus tightly and clenched. Sit there with your palms up, open to God and to a new beginning. Breathe in God’s mercy, breathe out all that is crooked and hidden in your life.

Then put your hands on your heart, and whisper, “I am yours, Lord.” Remember that you are God’s, that you are not what you have done, and that there is a new beginning waiting for you in that moment.

I’ve found it’s also helpful to confess those things to another human being, a sacred companion who can hear your confession, and remind you that you are forgiven, that God has come near, and that the crooked ways can really be made straight.

 In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 

A King is coming.

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Advent began yesterday; it is my favorite time of the year. During the season of Advent, we find out that we are pregnant with God, and the time to give birth arrives each moment we feel that life stirring inside of us.

Just like Mary, we ask, “How can this be?”

How can it be that God would take up residence inside this ramshackle body of mine, which is usually much more eager to prepare a place inside of it for good beer and dark chocolate?

Advent does not happen out there; we do not watch it from a distance. We experience it inside of us, this life that kicks and stirs and finally finds its way out of us and into the world. We do not initiate the light of the world, but we do carry it to term.

My friend Peggy calls these moments Jesus’ coming 1.5. There was the first coming, through Mary in that stable. And there will be the second coming, when Jesus comes to finally restore all things. But Advent reminds us that there are millions of moments in between when Jesus shows up in our world to be with us.

What does it mean that God has planted the divine inside of us, if it does not mean that we will give birth to all kinds of good in the world?

These moments are ordinary and come without much fanfare, just like the first one: There was a stable, a young couple in love, some cattle, and then the God inside Mary became God with us.

Last year, about this time, I went to visit a couple whose two day old baby was fighting for his life, hooked up to a breathing machine and a cobweb of tubes. I talked with them and listened to them, and as I did I saw their weariness mixed with their hope, and it was breathtaking.

And then an older woman walked in the room, and the new mother immediately said, “That’s my mother. She hasn’t left our side since this whole thing began.” And so this new grandmother filled her daughter’s water bottle, whispered a few words to her, and went to check on the baby. A few minutes later, an older man walked in the room, obviously the grandfather. His smile was the sun and his love for his daughter brightened that dark, sterile waiting room.

Can you see that God inside those grandparents became God with us in that hospital room?

One time, as I was tucking Elijah in for the night, I asked him to pray for me. I don’t remember ever asking him to do that before, but in the moment, I simply felt like I wanted him to do it. And so he put his hands on my back and began moving them around. And his four-year-old voice prayed ancient prayers to the God who is in him, already. And suddenly I experienced God with me.

Over the next four weeks, you and I have the opportunity to watch God inside us become God with us, if we simply show up and look up to those moments in which God wants to be born. These moments will come at coffee shops, in cubes, at parties, and at hospitals – and every dark place that needs light. All we need to do is make space for God to be born in us. How will you do that over the next four weeks?

Perhaps you will make space by driving in silence, versus filling that time with phone calls or music.

Perhaps you will wake up ten minutes early, and read the lectionary readings for the week.

Perhaps you will set an alarm at a given time each day, where you’ll walk away from your cube, and simply pray, “Lord, let it be done unto me, just as you say.”

Perhaps you will choose a random act of loving kindness once a day, remembering that Jesus came with “good tidings of great joy, which shall be for all people.” 

Advent is a season to make space for God to come. It is a season to show up and look up. It is a season to celebrate the life of God being born in this world, again and again and again.

I’ll post each Monday during Advent (Dec 1, 8, 15, & 22). If you follow along, I’d love to hear how you’re making space for God! 

Photo Source: My friend Doug took this picture. It’s incredible.

How Are the Children?

November 25, 2014 — 3 Comments

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When people of the Masai tribe in Kenya greet each other, they ask a question: Kasserian Ingera? 

It simply means, How are the children?

This reflects a deeply held cultural value that everybody’s well being is inextricably linked to the current well being of the children.

So, America: How are the children?

Michael Brown wasn’t one of their children, he was one of our children. As we weep with those who weep, and as Ferguson burns in a cauldron of anger that could lead to hopelessness, we need to remember it’s not out their issue, it’s our issue.

What will happen if we don’t turn our attention to the well being of our children?

Lord, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

The text that I’ll be preaching this weekend, the first week in Advent, is from Psalm 80, which is a communal lament. Give ear to us, Lord. Restore us, oh God. Awaken your might. Let your face shine upon us. No matter what you think about the grand jury’s decision in Ferguson last night, it is a fitting text for the lament that is being expressed all over America right now.

In Psalm 80, the community of God gives an angry shout to the God who seems absent, indifferent to their suffering. They are shaking their fists to a God they’re not even sure is listening. But here’s the shocker: they engage God anyway. Even though they fear that God is absent, they seem to simultaneously believe that if anyone can restore hope and light and life, God can.

When we are painfully aware of our need for God to arrive in our world again to restore that which has gone horribly wrong, we are experiencing the season of Advent.

We are all collectively afraid (remember that fear can show up as explosive anger or stony silence). We’re confused and we don’t know what to do. I don’t have a lot of words this morning. I am sad and upset. It’s hard to do the small things that today requires.

There will be a lot of noisy words today, and in the days to come, but here are mine anyway:

Weep with those who weep.

Listen to your black brothers and sisters; they are expressing a generational lament, one that includes, but goes way farther back than a grand jury’s decision last night. Enter into the lament. It’s really not just theirs, but ours.

See to the well being of the children.

And cry out – loudly – to the God who actually can restore us, and save us.

Come, Lord Jesus. We wait for you.

Photo Source

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I have a friend named Charlie, and when he met me, I was a flickering candle that had almost gone out. I was sad, terribly lonely, and exhausted from grief. I know I was like that mostly because he told me I was like that. Charlie has a way of telling you the truth and still helping you feel loved, which is what all good friends do, when they’re being good friends.

Those of you who know Charlie know him first of all by his laugh. Can you hear it in your mind? It’s fireworks and sunshine, and it comes easily. His smile is broad and contagious. If you are lucky enough to get invited to his home, he will nourish you with food he has grown in his own garden, and the drink he pours you will be strong and mischievous, like Charlie himself.

Charlie loves to throw open the doors and gather people together to eat and laugh and be human.

My friend Charlie is going through a dark, sleepless season, where the shadows are brighter than the sunshine. Where the night lasts longer than the day. Where the music is heavy and dark. He wrote about it here. I know that I cannot take away that darkness anymore than I can make the sun rise, but I love Charlie, so this post expresses what I hope for him, and what I hope for you, if you are also experiencing a dark night.

I hope you are surrounded by friends who nourish you from the gardens of their own love, where life springs up out of the cold, dark ground and helps you remember who you are again. I hope you can somehow see – even in the dark – how those gardens have grown in part because of your love for them. I hope those friendships taste sweet and true during this season.

I hope you are given gifts of utter grace this season. You are someone who creates and achieves and brings out so much in so many people, and we are so grateful for those gifts that you give. But I hope somewhere along this long walk that you are taking, your breath is taken away by a gift that arrives just for you, not because you did something special, but because you are something special.

I hope that you give yourself lots and lots of room to sit and read and be unproductive. The temptation for people like us is to try to achieve our way out of the dark, which we would never advise anyone else to try, but which we nonetheless will try until we are exhausted. You are in a season to let the fruit of your achievements come back to you and feed you. Build your house. Enjoy your close friends. Ask Jen to take you out to your favorite restaurant. Let those sons of yours make you laugh again until you cannot breathe.

And I hope that you listen to those whispers in the dark. Not the accusing ones that fill you with fear, but the familiar ones which call you toward those places which you know are true, deep down on a soulful level, beyond words. These whispers are breezes which invite you to get up and go somewhere, but you have resisted, for all the normal reasons all of us resist. My hope is that during this season, you give up resisting.

You are one of the good ones, Charlie. In it together.

Embracing Your Limits

October 10, 2014 — 26 Comments

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So there we were, at mile four of the Twin Cities Marathon, cheering for our friends and the rest of the lunatics who were punishing their bodies for 26.2 miles. It was so fun to be out there with Mary and the boys. We high-fived the runners, grew hoarse cheering for them, and then went to our favorite bakery for breakfast. It was such a fun morning with my family.

Except for the fact that I was supposed to be running it.

Earlier this summer, I got pneumonia, and it was scary. I had never been that sick before, and it took me completely out of my training for the marathon. When I could finally run again, I think I made it about 100 yards before I had to stop. I remember feeling like a beginner again, but not in the good way. I hated that feeling; hated telling my body to do something, and having it shout back at me that it could not.

So I did not run the marathon this year.

I couldn’t.

I am running again, but my lungs are still recovering, and it’s much harder than it ought to be. I keep acting as if I can just try to run faster, and harder, and I’ll return to form. But it’s not like that. Pneumonia is nasty, and I am told that it can take up to a year before your lungs are repaired.

And I haven’t written on this blog since who knows how long. I love this blog, love the community that has gathered around it, and love the discipline of putting my thoughts and observations out there in actual words, to actual people. I kept wanting to write posts, kept feeling like I needed to sit down and pound one out. But here’s the thing:

I couldn’t.

I am planting a church (which has been surprisingly fun mixed with the all the requisite insecurity and fear), and I am also trying to finish a manuscript for a book that I’ll be publishing with NavPress in early 2016 (which elicits perhaps even more insecurity and fear). So every spare minute of my time has gone towards writing that book and planting that church.

So I haven’t written much here. I am not sure how much I’ll be able to write until my manuscript deadline (October 31) is in the rear view mirror. So have patience with me as I catch up to myself. I love this blog. I’ll continue to write on it. I love that you read it and I feel like somehow we’re in it together, you and me and us.

So here’s what I’ll offer: it’s good to touch your edges from time to time, to realize that you are not limitless. It’s good to know that you cannot keep cranking it out (and you’re not supposed to), and that you are not a machine. I hate that all of that is true, but it is.

You are an actual person. And so am I.

For me, living my life as is, and not as if right now means that I am narrowing and focusing; I’m saying some yeses and saying some nos. I’m tired. But I’m realizing that God can be with me in those tired places, helping me to slow down – and stop. I’m cheering sometimes rather than running right now.

You are not limitless. You can stop. Sometimes, it’s good to admit that you couldn’t.

In it together.

A Blog on How to Write

August 26, 2014 — 29 Comments

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A few weeks ago I found myself in the post office, standing in line.

There were only about a dozen of us, but we were not moving. There were two clerks working the desk, but neither of them seemed concerned with us in the slightest. One of them appeared to be in his sixties, with a mustache that exploded from his nose, a shotgun blast that ended well below his top lip, curling into his mouth and covering his teeth. He was awkwardly flirting with a woman that appeared to be about his age, and who appeared to be enjoying it very much.

The other clerk was helping a couple get a passport, or something very official like that, and it wasn’t going well. They were at the desk for the better part of July.

It was hot in that post office, the kind of hot that makes you angry. The woman directly behind me was wearing a bright pink tank top that was too big, and shoes that seemed too small. She kept sighing and looking around, unable to contain her frustration. Her lanky hair framed a face that might have been pretty once, in her youthful days, before being forced to stand in that dreadful line.

I scanned the walls. Someone had designed an overly large stamp display, with Elvis’ face staring down at us. It wasn’t his young, lean face; it was his older, bloated face, the one framed by the overly large white, bedazzled collar. It was the tired face, the one that had had enough. The one with the eyes that couldn’t look you in the face anymore.

It was perfect for that post office.

As we inched forward, none of us spoke. I noticed an older woman in line who was holding a tiny dog, who couldn’t have weighed more than three pounds. She was holding him impossibly high, so that its nose was nearly touching her nose. She kept whispering to this dog, comforting it, and I kept wondering how it was that she was holding him so high. Her arms must be aching, I kept thinking. Then I wondered about this woman, this woman with the tiny dog who accompanied her through dreadfully long post office lines. Where else did he go with her? To church? To the grocery store? To the race track? To the bathroom?

The air in the post office was worn out and used up. Like us, it wasn’t going anywhere. We shared it, consumed it, and regurgitated it, only to consume it again.

We all silently celebrated our birthdays in that line, it was so long.

When I finally made it to the desk, the man with the shotgun mustache greeted me (oddly, he didn’t even attempt to flirt with me). I needed to get into the PO Box that we use for our church, but I had forgotten my key. I figured if I showed him my I.D., he could walk “back there” and get my mail.

“Can’t do it,” he barked, without any hint of solace.

“You can’t walk back there and grab my mail for me?” It seemed a small price to pay for the several years that I spent in that line.

“Federal law. We can’t hand customers their mail over the counter.” That seemed odd for a post office, I thought to myself. He looked down at me, and I’m not sure, but he seemed to be enjoying this as much as he was enjoying flirting with the woman earlier.

“So I can’t get my mail today?” I can be persistent.

“Federal law.” He then looked past me toward the next person in line. My moment was over. I would not be getting my mail that day, or any day after that, without my key.

And so I walked out of that post office, and I thought about that woman with the tiny dog. I wondered where that couple was going, and whether they’d ever get that passport. I wondered if that woman in the pink tank top ever put those tired feet up, and I wondered if there was anyone in her life that might rub them.

What a beautiful, fascinating world.

Writers: Writing is first of all about seeing. If you do not know how to see, you will not know how to write. Learn to look around. When you’re in line, when you’re driving to work, when you’re bored in a meeting, what do you see?

Write about what you see. Notice the red rimmed eyes and the aching feet. Notice the tiny dogs and the women who love them. Tell us stories of old men with shotgun mustaches and the women with whom they flirt. Remind us that ours is a beautiful story, even when we are stuck in lines and we’re not moving anywhere. Help us to meet each other, and to be less lonely.

Don’t tell us what to do. Don’t write about the used up things. Don’t regurgitate.

Write about what you see. We want to see it, too.

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I posted this last year at this time, but I thought it would be a good a reminder to all of us parents out there at this time of the year. In it together, friends.

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Dear Isaac,

Even though you insist you’ve been a first grader ever since the last day of Kindergarten, today is the day it officially begins. So on your first day of first grade, I want you to know a few things, straight from your dad:

You are brave. Remember the time that you accidentally locked mommy out of the house while the hot water was filling up in the sink to heat up your brother’s bottles? Remember how you got the chair, turned off the water, and opened the door all by yourself, even though you were only three? Even though you were crying the whole time? You did it. At school, there will be times when you have to do things even when you’re not sure how to do them, and you may feel like crying. You may even cry! And that’s okay. I want you to know that I have seen you be brave, over and over again. So even when you don’t feel brave, your daddy says that you are brave.

You are kind. You probably won’t believe this, Isaac, but I was shy in first grade. I stuttered really badly. That means it was hard for me to start talking, and even when I got started, my words got all jumbled up; they got stuck somewhere in between my mind and my mouth. It was hard for me to be confident when I started new things, like school or sports. It was especially hard when people made fun of me because I stuttered. Isaac, I’ve seen you be such a good friend to Emmaus, Cai, and especially your brothers. Would you look out for kids who stutter, or who look a little different, or who seem like they’re having a hard time making friends? Would you be kind to them? You don’t have to try really hard; just be you, and that will be enough.

There is no outside of inside. Isaac, you are in my heart, and there is nothing you will ever say, think, or do that will change that. I’m sure you will do fine at school all day, but when you get home, you might get a little cranky. Or maybe even a lot cranky. Let me tell you a secret: that’s what we all do. It’s hard out there. Home is where we can be ourselves after trying hard out there all day. We get cranky around the people who love us the most because home is where we feel safe. I want you to know that when you are with me, you are home. You are safe. You can show up how you actually are, cranky and all. I love you, end of story. And because there’s no outside of inside, even when you’re not with me, you’re still home, because you are in my heart.

There are lots of kinds of smart. Isaac, when I was a kid, I wasn’t that great at school. There were lots of kids who did better than me on tests. I wasn’t the first person to learn how to read. I still remember the lump in my throat when I didn’t do well, even though I tried hard. So let me be the one to tell you, Isaac: there are lots of kinds of smart. Some kids are really smart at numbers. Some are smart at words. Some are smart at solving problems. Some are smart at friendship. Some are smart at helping people. And some are smart at creating things, like paintings or pottery. You are smart, Isaac, and we’re going to help you figure out what kind of smart you are.

And the last one is a tough one. But here it is: My job is not to protect you from hard things, it’s to launch you out into this great big world, so that you can play your part in great Big Story. This means that sometimes, you’ll make mistakes. You might not make the team. You might try to make friends with people who reject you. When those things happen, I hope I’m the first person you want to talk to. I’ll cry with you. Isaac, this is so hard for me. I’d much rather do anything and everything to make sure you don’t fail or get hurt. But you need to fail, and even get hurt sometimes, because that’s how you’ll learn how to be a person who brings great things to this world. Only those of us who have suffered a little know how to really help.

So, Isaac, my beautiful, strong son: have a great first day of first grade. I’ll be waiting for you when you get home.

Love,

Your Daddy.

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Friends, we did it.

Last Sunday, we held our first worship gathering for Genesis Covenant Church, and it was pure joy for me. Normally, in these moments, I’m a strange brew of anticipation and dread, and mostly I just want it to be over. Not so on Sunday. I was present, and I enjoyed the moments, every one of them. I really did. There were so many who made it possible, so many who worked so hard. Together, I believe we created a space where people felt they could connect with God, and with each other.

When I preach, I ask non rhetorical questions, and then I wait to see who might answer. The brave ones in the community actually do. To my great delight, many of the answers last Sunday came from kids. One of the values at Genesis is conversation, and this is one of the ways we do it. We believe a fuller picture of God and of Scripture comes together when a melody of voices ring out, versus when we listen to a solo.

One of my friends told me that she was sitting in front of a younger child that was answering every question, and the child’s mom was getting nervous, and finally told the child to be quiet. I can relate to that mother on eleventy-four thousand levels. But my friend smiled, looked at the mother and said, “Oh, no, actually we want to hear his voice here. We value it!” The mother began immediately crying, stunned that what she thought was a nuisance might actually be a gift. I love that. Kids are noisy and unpredictable, and when we make space for them, beautiful things happen.

I’m sure I’ll post many more things about this brazen community that we’ve started, but I just wanted to let you all know that we started it. Many of you have been praying and cheering, even from all the way across the world, and I wanted to say thank you. We are in this together, and we did it!

To listen to my message from last Sunday, click here.

To check out the Genesis website, click here.

To make a fully tax deductible online donation Genesis, click here.

On Eating the Extra

July 29, 2014 — 6 Comments

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“I have to confess something,” my wife told me after church on Sunday. She had a gleam in her eye, which was odd given what she had just said.

“I let them eat the extra.”

Them being our three rascals, and it being the communion bread that was left over after church on Sunday.

I didn’t see it, but I know that our boys don’t so much eat as scarf, and they usually leave evidence in the form of crumbs all over themselves and anything within five square miles. I’m picturing them right now with crumbs of Jesus all over them, covering them, and trailing after them.

I can’t think of anything holier, or more beautiful.

It means that there’s enough Jesus left over – more than enough – even when lots and lots of people have already been nourished by him.

It means that on those occasions when you’re still mysteriously hungry even after you’ve already eaten, you can come back, and there will be more, no questions asked.

It means that Jesus is present during the formal and the informal times of our lives, in church and in traffic, and even after we’ve just horribly messed everything up, offering the same gift to all of us, everywhere.

And it means when you’ve eaten the extra, it covers you and trails after you wherever you go.

For a few weeks, I was feeling dark and stormy, and I didn’t know how to find the sun. When I’m like this, it’s hard on me, and it’s hard on my family. During one particularly cloudy conversation with Mary, she suddenly stopped, looked at me, and smiled. Then she said, “I like you.”

With those three words, the sun peeked out from behind the trees. It was just a glimmer, but there it was. In the middle of my darkness, when I actually wasn’t very likable, Mary offered me some of the extra. And I ate it. It covered me, and trailed after me.

The prophet Isaiah writes these captivating words about food and extra and eating:

If you are thirsty, come here;
come, there’s water for all.
Whoever is poor and penniless can still
come and buy the food I sell.
There’s no cost—here, have some food, hearty and delicious,
and beverages, pure and good.
2 I don’t understand why you spend your money for things that don’t nourish
or work so hard for what leaves you empty.
Attend to Me and eat what is good;
enjoy the richest, most delectable of things.
3 Listen closely, and come even closer. My words will give life,
for I will make a covenant with you that cannot be broken, a promise
Of My enduring presence and support like I gave to David.
4 See, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander among the nations.
5 Now you will issue a call to nations from all over the world—
people whom you do not know and who do not know you.
They will come running, because of Me, your God
because the Eternal, the Holy One of Israel, has made you beautiful. — Isaiah 55:1-5 (The Voice)

Chances are, right now, you need some of the extra. It’s right there, it’s free, and it’s good.

There will always be extra for rascals like you and like me. Let it cover you and trail after you.