March really did come in like a lion. We felt the wind blow through our family, shaking us up. Waking us up. And the wind burns and the wind deposits a chill in the bones of man.
And the greatest of these is Love.
Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love
1 Corinthians:13 – The Message
And sometimes prayers are best reduced to “Help,Thanks,Wow” as Anne Lamott suggests in her new book about prayer.
The best of the three is love. Really.
I know this in a newer and newer way. I have known it. But there must be many definitions of “know” like the Greek has four definitions of love. This knowing takes on a richer covering of understanding. Like the tapestry has more colorful threads. And the weaving is more exquisite and intricate. This tapestry of knowing love.
March 1 knocked us around a bit. And then on March 4th it knocked us around a little more. Sweet daughter was driving when a blue hand crank smashed her windshield as she was motoring down the highway. At highway speeds. And minutes after or before, trauma blurs time, I fell down the stairs and we were really shaken up. The green and purple and blue running around my flesh was an outward sign.
But days after the highway shake up, we are still numb in our rejoicing. That the greatest of these is love. And that God protected our child.
But the hands and feet of Jesus were at work in our suffering. And the body of Christ was loving us through all of our pain. And we prayed a variation of “Help, Thanks, Wow” as Anne Lamott writes in her book on prayer because sometimes these are the true cries of the heart.
We look at the blue metal hand crank and we say “wow”. And we look at the impact on the windshield on the passengers side where there was no passenger that day. Wow, truly. Because we hear the mechanic when he says how close this was to going all the way through.
But we are even more amazed at the friendship that erupted on the scene of the accident. Our friends who came and loved our daughter. The father, mother, and child, a trio of angels ready to love our family in a difficult time. And we say “thanks”.
Our hearts are ready for the lamb part of March. The lion part is still growling and roaring a bit. But God…is growing our faith and showing us Love through His body. The body of Christ.
As I fell down the stairs and wept and shook, I was helped by two godly men. My husband and his accountability partner and best friend. And I wept at the trauma that appeared to be coming in rapid succession. The kind that leaves you shaking and asking and what’s next.
But what’s next is more Love. Because love wrapped around our pain. It bound our wounds and eased our suffering. March 1st left us shaking a bit. We had to pull together and move forward from unexpected change. And love together, The Patient One and I. We processed a big change in our lives under the mantra of we are moving forward.
But forward was paved by love to the left and love to the right. We were hemmed in by it.
Without the pain, without the trauma, without the shaking up in our lives we would have missed this action verb breaking through into our lives.
God allowed us the privilege of seeing Love cover us up. Friends blanketed us with words of encouragement, refocused our pain, and checked on us with words, written and spoken.
I read the words of a blogger friend to The Patient One. And his response was “keep banging away.” We do feel like this, often, we writer/bloggers. That we are just banging it out.
But if I can bang out love, words of love, manifestations of love and God’s grace then bang away I will.
Though I wish there were a more poetic expression of writing than banging. But I bang like a loud cymbal or a drum if I am not writing and speaking of love.
So today I swim in the ocean of Paul’s beautiful words, again. And again. And every wedding and every occasion I can dive back into to this beautiful truth, I will.
When you have soaked in love and bathed in love and basked in love, you want to give it.
These days leading up to the cross, to the Lamb of God, I want to bang out love and point to the amazing love of Christ on the Cross.
Oh I am ready for the Lamb days of March. But I am grateful for what the roaring lion showed us too. And I want to pray “thanks” to a God who loves us so much it is sometimes unfathomable. Often incomprehensible.
And “thanks” to those precious friends who love us when we are hurting and scoop us up when we fall down. Broken, bruised, banged up but loved.
The best of the three is love. Truly.
Joining Jennifer today for #tellhisstory, Ann and Emily for Imperfect Prose
15 thoughts on “In Which I Quote The Apostle Paul and Anne Lamott”
“But if I can bang out love, words of love, manifestations of love and God’s grace then bang away I will.
Though I wish there were a more poetic expression of writing than banging. But I bang like a loud cymbal or a drum if I am not writing and speaking of love.”
Amen to that.
To all this, really. I had no idea your family was dealing with such intense situations. Thank you for sharing this and your heart of trust in God. And thank you for always tapping out love here. You do it well.
Your friendship means the world. And your encouragement. Even just a bit of distance between it, the stuff, and the now has brought a measure of healing. We are breathing deep. Thank you that you walk with me so closely through this life through words and friendship.
Wow, indeed. I remember being surrounded by a trio of angels after an accident on an icy road, one of whom was a nurse and another of whom lent me a blanket for my children. How did they just happen to be there when we needed them?
As I was reading this, I was thinking back to some of the hard things and hard places I wish I had never traveled through. And your post reminded me of the ways my family and I were loved through them. Thank you for this. Keep banging away.
So thankful your girl is okay. Thanks be to God.
Gasping over those photos. Wow. Yeah. Wow. And Thanks. Yes thank you, Lord. Very glad your daughter is OK. (And hey you … keep banging away on that keyboard of yours. Your words matter. )
Interesting – I was thinking, reading this, how Jesus is both lamb and lion. Hadn’t really thought about it that way before, in this context of the circumstances of our lives, of our months, being expressions of lamb and lion. Grateful for your daughter’s protection, and hope you are healing quickly, too, body and soul. And yes, your words are loud cymbals of praise and joy and grace, thank you for them!
Thanking God for the protection He provided – that your daughter was safe and loving arms there to be with her. Our daughter and son-in-law a few years ago were driving on a highway and a wire from the hydro pole just flew down and ripped the hood right off the car. My son-in-law managed to get the car to the side of the highway and assess the situation. The car was totalled but everyone including 2 dogs were fine. At the time I had been led to pray (and I was 2 hours away). I did not know for a few hours later what had happened.
Praying that we can learn to listen to the Holy Spirit and lift up our friends and family when called upon to do so.
Would love you to join Wednesday’s Word – where we speak of what God has taught us this week.
Linking after you from A Holy Experience.
“Without the pain, without the trauma, without the shaking up in our lives we would have missed this action verb breaking through into our lives.”
Wow! Oh, wow! And thank you, thank you, thank you.
I have this fear of a car rolling off a semi. I give them a wide berth…
That is indeed, WOW! And I think to how many times His hand has saved me from things I don’t know, and can’t see. How humbling, and awe inspiring to be able to see with your human eyes how His hand saved. His hand flying through the universe to slow down that metal that threatened to breakthrough.
Rejoicing with you on how He stepped in and praying that you continue to walk in peace.
Oh my goodness! How terrifying! So thankful, along with you, for protection, for His love and the love of His people.
needed this. so glad you are healing and mending and that your daughter is fine. Things can be replaced, daughters cannot. So glad you were able to hug on her. March has come in like a lion here, only I think the lion is rabid and ready to devour. I was beginning to feel like praying the prayer of Job’s friends, curse God and die… but God is faithful, He is never so shaken up by our experiences that He falls off His throne of grace. My thoughts are with you friend, and prayers are given with each thought of you.
march came in like a Lion but we wait for the Lamb days. but they go hand in hand, don’t they? this is breathtaking, precious sister.
oh friend. i feel this angst too. i think we’re all ready for spring, to get outdoors and smell the flowers and get away from the internet awhile, no? i’m so glad Love is wrapping you tight elizabeth. love you.
Precious Elizabeth, I had no idea of all you were enduring. So sorry for the fear and beyond grateful for the love in all the forms you’ve come to know it…both the lion and the lamb parts. Thank God you are all healing. Bless you, dear one. May you know his peace.
So glad I stumbled here today. I often forget to sit back and learn from the crazy trauma moments of life but I think you wove some deep things masterfully. I too am often stunned by the love of Christ as it is poured out through his church loving well in crisis moments.
This is beautiful to read. A feeling of love. Bless you so much.