Thursday, November 1, 2012

Glimpses of Grace, in the Middle

Well, the month is over and so goes with it our Less is More Mix, For Love146. By all accounts, one could probably look on and say that started out well but ended up a big failure, to which I could reply, "Yes, I know I really tinkered out there at the end," and we would all sigh and agree that next time we will do better, next time we will work harder, be more disciplined and just. be. better. 

Here we are on November 1st, and I will admit, in some ways I failed miserably and thought of all the ways I could get out of living consistently. There was a day that I literally stood for several minutes at the grocery store in front of no-bake chocolate chip cookies and thought, "Dang it, I just want to make cookies for my kids but know that all the chocolate chips are made from cocoa harvested by children slightly older than my children. But DANG IT, I WANT cookies for MY kids and WHY does it matter, really?? Because my voice means NOTHING. What difference does it make? Can we make a difference? Today I would rather believe that we can't. And gosh darn it, they donate a portion of profits to breast cancer research. But seriously, how double-minded is that? They'll purchase chocolate from exploited children on one side while donating to eradicate a deadly disease on the other side. Double-minded, double-minded!"

And this is me. 
And this is you.
And here we are.

There is a double standard that haunts our footsteps and leaves a path of destruction on one side while reaping beauty on the other.

This is life.

Because, friends, we're in the middle of it, and the middle is not a beautiful, finished product. The middle is messy and undefined and difficult to discern. But in the middle is lovely and wonderful because God pours grace upon grace upon grace and woos us to rest still, in the middle of the striving, in him. He lets us draw from his well, from fountains that bring life-giving water from which we will thirst no more. He roots us and establishes us in love, in him, and in relationships with others that are just as unsure as we are. And I love this. Because this is real life. 

It's not a sprint; it's a marathon. With hills. And ruts in the ground that will make us lose our footing. Sometimes we won't fall gracefully but are told that those that have finished their race are cheering us on and all the while we're given the tangible gift of each other. I'm so very thankful for those relationships that are truly gifts from our Heavenly Father because this month, and many other months preceding have brought tears of frustration and tears of joy as we try to walk well. walk wisely. walk humbly through this crazy thing called life.

Such a gift, this life is, for those that stay the course and don't give up. Not in a rigid, inflexible way but with our eyes always on the One who plots the course, knowing that we run in his strength and power. He's invited us to participate in his work and he will supply the grace needed to finish. Even when we want to throw in the towel. When it seems too hard or like it doesn't make a difference. Let's keep running, together in unity that makes people wonder how this crazy group of misfits keep going against all odds. How can we tackle whole systems when we can't even live well for a month? 

Grace upon grace upon grace, flowing as deeply and as widely as we're willing to receive and pass along to each other.

Please know, I speak only for myself in this. Maybe everyone else was as consistent as the day is long. I hope. But if not, please know that we're in this together, if you'd like at least. We'll get there, eventually.

And in case you are still interested in donating to the work of Love146, I have created a DONATE page for us. If you do decide to donate, enter the code TF417 in the comments section. No pressure, friends, but a couple people had asked.


Mika said...

Loved this post, Kelly! This is my exact struggle!: But DANG IT, I WANT cookies for MY kids and WHY does it matter, really?? Because my voice means NOTHING. What difference does it make? Can we make a difference? It's so nice to hear that I'm not the only one with these internal struggles. And hearing this makes me realize that these are the lies that Satan is whispering, yelling even, to our entire culture. Thank you for your encouragement to keep running the race, to get up when we fall, and to keep our eyes on Christ. Those mountains don't look so huge when we do focus on Him!

Kelly Green said...

Thanks, Mika. It means a lot to know I'm not alone with these thoughts- because so many days it feels like i am and it feels like I should just say forget it- it's not worth it. But I also KNOW I'm wrong in those thoughts. Eh- feeling the struggle of it today. Choosing not to camp out there though. :)