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Monday, November 23, 2009

No Condemnation

Coming home was NOT EASY, though I'm glad to be here, the relief of the two days away seems elusive.  Tears are coming easily.  Holding on is coming, but not so easily.  I missed Luke's first-ever-concert, singing in the RVA choir on Saturday, which he thoroughly enjoyed.  We're dialoguing daily about college apps.  Parenting from afar feels hard.  Sarah and the Pierces begin to count down their last weeks and months, and the end-of-year events mount.  Last night we attended the CSB staff party, which was a pleasant outdoor affair with the requisite speeches, malfunctioning sound system, stunning dresses, and good bountiful Ugandan food.  Team calendars are out, planning ahead, and the reality of change looms.  Assusi, who has lived in our guest room the last few months, moved down to hospital housing on Sunday, good for her and good for us as we prepare for more guests ourselves, but still another grief and change.  I noticed a good bit of anxiety in the parents of a patient I was discharging today, then noticed that he had a traditional twin name . . . only to learn that these two parents before me had brought TWO babies to be admitted late last week, but one twin died within the first few hours.  No wonder they were worried about taking the remaining twin home.  My easy tears almost flooded again.

I had our team pray for me last week, as we process the year behind us, and I recognize my failure to make people feel as loved and affirmed as I would like.  My analogy was the poisoned ice cream I distributed last month:  I was trying to bless our team and ended up sending everyone into spasms of deathly diarrhea!  In the same way I have come to face my relational poison ice cream, words that are not well-chosen, or interactions that are too rushed, that communicate pain.  I have grieved that, and struggle how to be Jesus-like in speaking the truth in love, with everyone from my own kids to the nurse who did not show up for work on Saturday.  I thought about staying home from church yesterday, but went on faith that God meets us in the community of believers.  

The second reading was from Romans 8:  who can bring any charge?  There is therefore now no condemnation. . . .  Once again the words brought me up short, because I've been feeling a LOT of condemnation.  Grace, a nice word, a pleasant concept to talk about, when you don't feel like you need it.  But the whole point of grace is that I DO need it.  Making mistakes, speaking too quickly, failing to love, missing choir concerts, saying goodbyes, looking ahead to a year with huge question marks,  in all of these things God's grace covers me, and all of us here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jennifer, I met you at the Malta conference 5 years ago, and still remember your story about God's grace/mercy to your family at that time: that we feel like we should only get it when/if we deserve it...not when we forget our passports. Thanks for sharing and reminding me of the truth. -Jina Hawk