Small, Sticky Truths

‘Epiphany’ – it’s a big word for an ‘aha’ moment.

Sometimes it’s a ‘DUH’ moment, more akin to Homer Simpson than a host of angels or some deeply intellectual metaphysical understanding.

I had one, this morning.

It’s for me, because I need reminding.

Because I read the news on the internet about missionaries who end up captivated by child pornography; about a political system that sometimes seem more like a game show; about financial systems collapsing. I hear about soldiers dying – a story that barely makes the news. Drought and destruction and collapse and iniquity and corruption and death.

I see a broken world. But, of course, it’s always been so…

I clasped in my hand, yesterday, post-it notes with very personal, very real requests for prayer. They were small, sticky truths; the reality of why we do what we do every Sunday, when we proclaim help and healing through an infinite God who somehow became flesh and somehow matters. I stood in a small circle and asked for it, knowing that it might be a dangerous request.

It was.

My heart is pulverized, with the weight of all that is carried in that small circle that is my immediate family, my brothers and sisters, my fellow pilgrims.

Financial paralysis – over and over again.

I said, We must believe this, we must live this if we are to ask, with integrity, for others to join us on this journey. So raise YOUR hand, share YOUR burden, move towards honest community. Write down your burden. I will pray for you.

“I will pray for you.”

I said it, and I meant it.

But then I read those notes, one after the other, and my heart seized and I felt burdened…

which is what I asked for.

I will pray for you.

So I brought them home, and I woke up this morning knowing I had a million things to do.

I will pray for you.

I checked Facebook, and made a list of the most pressing needs on this very busy day. I checked the news. I checked Facebook again, just in case I missed anything.

I read my email.

I will pray for you.

The moments crept up on me, that point in the morning where you know if you don’t move now, you’re going to be late, and the timeline you’d planned will go out the window. It hit me, and it was time to move, and I looked at the evidence of my morning, and I felt some despair – at the state of the world, and the random chaos of my Facebook feed, and my emails that offer more and more Things To Do, and I knew I had to move, and I felt overwhelmed.

Monday morning, 6:30AM, and I already felt defeated. In despair. And wondering, honestly, if it even matters. In a Godless society, where it’s easier and easier to live independently, sleeping in on Sundays, unconcerned with faith, proudly and openly secular – does it even matter?

All these people, all this pain, all this clutter – does it even matter?

And then came that epiphany, the one that – quite frankly – I don’t want to admit. But the one that I am compelled to confess this morning, before this week takes off. I want to remind myself. I want to remind you.

I gently reminded a friend and coworker last week that doing the work of Jesus requires a daily awareness of what he did, how he lived, what he said. To declare it with integrity means we have to internalize it.

And it’s not as if it is a struggle, or a difficult, torturous thing. The words and acts of Jesus are life-giving, precious, encouraging, uplifting, interesting.

But then again, so is Facebook. Isn’t it?


I know I’m not the only one. My distraction today was Facebook and financial stuff. Only an hour in, I’m anxious that the week is a loss already….

But it’s not.

I have people to pray for.

I have a spiritual practice that says mediation matters, prayer matters, reading Old Testament history and prophecy and New Testament tales of incarnation – they all matter, and they change us.

So, join me, will you? If God is to be real, and a reality in your life – today, tomorrow, and the next day – let’s act like it.

I don’t know what it looks like for you, but for me, it looks like this:

Remembering that blessed are the meek, and those who mourn, and the poor in spirit.
Praying for a wrinkled stack of sticky notes.
Offering praise from my heart and my truth, rather than a somebody else’s song.

Grateful, for grace – this, and every day.

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