Day 50 | Brooke Lawrence

I love God. The thought popped pleasantly in my head as I slid a dimpled hash brown into its bag, silently tilting my head in tune with a Gungor song. I’d gotten up ten minutes early – at the generous time of 3:50 a.m. – so I could meditate and arrive at the not-yet-shined doorframe of McDonald’s perhaps with grog still hanging in my eye, but with a fresher heart. A billion suns rise for You…

All which dissipates at the commotion of a morning manager underhandedly snapping at an already over-stretched employee.

In these moments, I am not experiencing what the psalmist describes as God’s “wrath, smoldering like fire” (Ps 89.47). I am not exiled from my home, mourning the dream my ancestors once held. My suffering in these moments is comparatively very little. Yet, still it gives rise to this same fundamental question: “Where are you, God?”

Or, as the psalmist puts it, “Where are your promises of old, Lord?” (Ps 89.50)

The Gospel of John holds Jesus declared that “It is finished” before taking his “last” breath (John 19.30). We are told that through Jesus, all is finished. Everything we could (or, the distinction is often made, should) desire has already been fulfilled through Jesus’ sacrifice.

This has always been hard for me to believe. As a little girl, I would hear these words while sitting small, weary of my Sunday schoolmates’ taunting eyes, and would feel that this was not true. Now many things – from an inexplicably vengeful customer to a now weekly announcement of a terrorist attack – give me that same disbelief that Christ has truly brought all things into Himself.

The psalmist – who describes himself as “bear[ing] all the slanders of the nations” (Ps 89.51) – finds it in his heart to recall the Lord’s goodness, and to end in praise of him. I cannot claim that I hold the same unwavering faith in even the slightest moment of disheartening.

Yet I find that God still shows His face, even to twenty-first century, ever-faltering little me. I see it in the offerings of warm smiles and forgiving laughs from my customers, and from the reparative kindnesses of my managers. It’s not quite enough to make me believe that the all that is broken is healed, that we have reached the utopia which God molded for humanity to reside within, or that tomorrow the world will be put back together. But it’s enough to make me join in praise with Ethan the Ezrahite: “Amen, and amen.” I believe, and I believe.

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