The barren journey to mercy

It wasn't a very beautiful day the way I was looking at it - the sky overcast, the cold wind catching the hands and face. It was one of those days where I felt barren. I, the nurturer, did not feel like nurturing. Tending to little boy souls was part of my job description that I didn't want to embrace today. I wanted my bed to embrace me, to curl back up into those sheets and feel oblivion slide over me. That was not going to be my reality today though, I can't hide from life when it gets hard or when I'm tired but I can look for the pockets of grace.
The day went on, me feeling like an automaton. Dishwasher unloaded, done. Laundry in, done. My heart completely disengaged from the day and from my kids, feeling like I just wanted to survive the day. Then came my pocket of grace. We walked to get the mail, the kids fighting over who would get the mail box key and there it was, the package I'd been waiting for. Little boy fingers ran all over the box anxious to see what was inside, they pulled at the tape, tearing like a lion on its prey. I was finding their enthusiasm irritating and I lifted the box up high so they couldn't reach it and carried it into the house. I longed for this moment to be a grace moment and not a frenzied contest and so came my request for the boys to calm down and let me open it. The wood slid between the bubble wrap and there it was, the hand crafted wreath, the centerpiece of our Lent devotions, the image of Christ carrying His cross. He, the burden-bearer, shouldering the burdens of the world on His shoulders, my burdens resting on His strong frame. Here was my grace-pocket today.


There is the picture, the story of my life, the story of Lent - I am barren without Him, without the One who gives me all. Emptiness is all I have without Him and all of life is about my journey to the foot of that cross saying thanks and receiving the unmerited mercy and grace that He freely gives.

Show me your ways, LORD, 
teach me your paths. 
Guide me in your truth and teach me,

for you are God my Savior, 
and my hope is in you all day long. 
Remember, LORD, your great mercy and love, 
for they are from of old. 
Do not remember the sins of my youth 
and my rebellious ways; 
according to your love remember me, 
for you, LORD, are good.
Psalm 25:4-7

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