Dear Dad

Dear Dad,

It’s been eight years since I’ve seen you, but I hear your voice all the time. Sometimes I replay some of our past conversations in my mind; conversations that, at the time, didn’t always hold a lot of value—conversations about waxing your car, who you ran into at the fishing hole or how the “big one” got away. Conversations about what book you were reading, what plants you want to buy at the next plant sale, or your dreams for your retirement years.

Dad, you talked a lot—and sprinkled into each of those conversation were words of hope, wisdom, friendship, love, and humility. I don’t know how you did it, but you managed to make conversations about seemingly little things feel big. Somehow, you could make me feel special and like the most beautiful person on the planet as you were telling a story about fishing. I seriously don’t know how you did it! I rarely left a conversation without contemplating something, without begging for answers to the deep questions of life, or without the desire to grow more as a woman in Christ. You made me want more; not more material things, but authenticity, hope, truth, wisdom. I wanted those things and I wanted to become those things—the very things I saw in you.

And although you talked a lot, Dad, you showed me how to love without any words at all. I saw what broke your heart when tears fell from your grey-blue eyes. I saw what lit them up and how you’d bite your lower lip in hopes to contain a squeal of delight. I saw you hold mom’s hand when you’d watch T.V. together and how you’d hold the door open for her wherever you went. I saw how you’d rush out the door to help fill sand bags when the dam broke in our town or to a friend’s house when he called in need. I saw you write letters to men in prison as well as to our politicians. I remember you even lent my date to prom your dress shoes, when he showed up, embarrassed, in tennis shoes! You gave the gift of time and love to everyone; friends and strangers alike.
IMG_3712I haven’t seen you in eight years, but I feel your presence every day; I still hear your voice, see your face. I still feel your hand in mine, smell the lingering waft of your aftershave. You are gone, but you are anything but absent. Forever, you live on in my heart, mind, and soul. And although days like today, the day you left this earth for heaven, pierce my heart, I find that I am grateful for the pain because it means I had a love so, so great. I’ve tucked it deep within my heart and hope that I leave little remnants of it wherever I go, just like you did.

I can hardly wait to hug you again. I have a feeling when I do—I won’t ever let go.

I love you

Wasted No More

IMG_3712The truth is the majority of people are wasting their lives. Admittedly, I’ve wasted a good portion of mine. Because of pride; and some out of ignorance. Some spend their entire lives seeking fulfillment or happiness and though they find it in an array of areas, it is fleeting. Always. And when joy fades, the search begins all over again, but this time with a chink in our armor that reminds us that we failed somehow, somewhere. Sometimes this takes a toll on our identity because we no longer know exactly where we fit or what we need (or should) be doing; we just know it’s something beyond us.

We desire to be a part of a bigger, grander plan. It’s not that we think we have to do big things, but we want to be a part of something. We want to belong. We want to know our lives account for something beyond our expiration date.

Today marks the sixth year since my Daddy entered Heaven’s gates, the sixth year since he ran into the loving, outstretched arms of his Heavenly Father, the sixth year since he last felt pain, cried, worried, planned, dreamt…. It’s been six years—and not a single day has passed that I do not see his crooked smile in my mind’s eye or hear his voice encouraging me to keep going, to keep perspective when life feels so chaotic, uncertain, or overwhelming. Sometimes I still think I smell his aftershave or feel his rough and calloused hand in mine. I think it’s because I want to more than me losing my mind. I’m easily swept up in the memories of him and have lost moments of time to grief and tears—sometimes unexpectedly. I miss him Every. Single. Day. And every single day I think about both what his life and his death has taught me.

My dad died a young man; he was only 61! He did not get to see many of his “fifth quarter” hopes, dreams, and plans come to fruition. And boy, did he have a great retirement planned—He talked about it for years; literally years. He financially planned, ravenously read about various places and things he hoped to go and do…. To say, “he was giddy with anticipation” is a gross understatement because I’m pretty sure I caught him drooling a time or two when he’d share his next great idea! And although he was filled with so much joy in his dreaming and scheming, he was also counting down the days until its reality. I can still see the way his pale blue eyes danced as he dreamt out loud to anyone willing to listen.

calf-362170_960_720My Dad was a man who lived humbly. He was a dairy farmer for more than half of his life, then a custodian. He didn’t care about worldly possessions, but the ones he had he counted as blessings…gifts from the Lord and would have readily given them up to help someone in need. To the world looking in, he would appear to be a regular Joe, a man who perhaps didn’t achieve as the world pressures. He did not chase after the mighty dollar; he did not seek after prestigious positions, or dress to impress. He was meek, dedicated to his work, devoted to his family and friends and eagerly looked forward to helping others. He longed for little and gave everything. He was humble. He was sacrificial. He was fulfilled. He did not live to the world’s standards and it didn’t bother him for he did not strive to look like the world.

Over the course of his last few years, it was not uncommon for him to crave communion with Christ. He longed to be in His physical presence and would weep as he tried to envision the glory that he would soon encounter. My dad knew he’d run to Jesus if he ever had the chance. He got his chance– and I know he is on his knees singing his heart out to His Lord and Savior.

At his memorial service, where over 450 people attended, I heard countless stories of how my Dad touched their lives in remarkable ways…mostly through his attitude and his servanthood. As someone who knew his heart well, I can say I believe he had the right idea about life for he was a man fulfilled, longing to bring glory to Jesus in everything he did. He did not waste a single day…not one! If my Dad were to read these words, he would shake his head and with tears in his eyes say, “No Beloved, I have barely scratched the surface of living a life worthy of the calling”. “The calling” that he would refer to is a life basked in the hope of Jesus.

As I have spent much time reflecting these past six years since my Dad passed away, I have been repeatedly reminded that life is not about mastering or attaining many things, like the world reflects; it is about being mastered by one great thing! My Dad’s life counted for something eternally…I want to be consumed by that same fire! I don’t want to leave anything left unsaid, anything left undone. I want to use ALL of this life I’ve been given to give God complete glory and honor. Nothing else matters. Literally. #wastednomore

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” Matthew 22:37

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Fishing For Peace

fishing-909554_960_720My Dad loved to fish. No, I mean, He really looooved to fish. It was more than a hobby for him, it was his time of respite, his time of drawing near to the Lord. He needed this time as much as he desired it. He made time for it, even if it meant heading to his favorite fishing hole while dark claimed the atmosphere for a couple more hours. The tranquility beckoned him and throughout my entire childhood and even into my early adulthood, I witnessed his response to such peace while standing hip deep in his patched up waders in the glimmering swift waters: pole in one hand, the other lifted heavenward. I witness his face flush with gratitude and his eyes glisten when words failed him. I witnessed his heart outside his chest and learned of a love basked in utter peace amidst raging waters. I did not realize the gift this was until many years later.

Each weekend, my dad towed us kids along on his fishing expeditions–probably so he could keep an eye on us more than actually teach us any real skill. I won’t pretend we liked it. He fished year round, winter (Steelhead season) seemed to be his favorite–and my worst!  As a young girl, getting out of bed when it was still dark, dressing in layer upon layer to go sit in wet, smelly sand for hours at a time, while Dad fished felt a little like a punishment. However, my younger brother, sister, and I always managed to find mischief along the sandbar or create massive sand murals with pieces of driftwood–and inevitably, each excursion to Gold Bar or the Stilly River ended with all four of us, dad included, swinging our legs off the tailgate of Dad’s ‘66 baby blue Ford, while eating warm bologna sandwiches (how we didn’t end up with food poisioning is nothing short of God’s grace!). Smiles and giggles filled the truck as we drove back to the farm. And as wonderful as these Saturdays turned out to be, I still resolved that nothing could be more boring than to sit and watch a pole for hours on end in hopes to get a “nibble”. I believed that until I was 26 years old. (Therefore this is an old story!)ebay346645

Though I had not gone fishing with my dad for many years, I had decided that when I traveled home with my then 9 month old daughter, Meg, I would go with him. I don’t know why I thought it would be any different or why I was now subjecting my baby to this seemingly torrid event, but something drew me.

I suppose I wanted what my dad had found there all those years, whatever it was.

Sipping strong coffee from the lid of Dad’s green dented thermos, I sat with Meg on the slight incline of the sandbar, watching my dad. I loved everything about him in that moment, especially his crooked smile or the way he would bite his lower lip while putting fresh bait on his hook. He waded out into the river a little further and cast his line again. I watched how the river glided swiftly past him, over fallen trees, and boulders; continuing downstream, narrowing in places, skimming the sandy bar, and eventually spilling into another body of water. I loved watching his line plunk into the river, creating a series of expanding rings, until they disappeared. I was enthralled by the interlacings of regal simplicity and splendid authority.

I had sat on the banks of this river more times than I could count, but not until this day did I pay any attention to its fluid movement and how it formed itself to the shape of whatever object stood in its path. The river was never without motion. I had seen it bursting with energy as its upstream source aggressively pushed its mass into this stream. I had seen it flooded as well as low enough to count the speckled rocks littering its floor. I have seen it nearly still, just ripples carelessly riding on its surface. Still, always in motion.

stream-341772_960_720I turned my face to the early morning sun, letting its warmth seep into my soul. The thought-provoking words of Horatio G. Spafford (1873) came to mind in that moment, a precious hymn I sang as child, growing up in a small Baptist church: “When peace like a river attendeth my way…” I hummed the song repeatedly as the melody soothed my wounded soul and the words caused me to contemplate what peace really means. “Peace like a river”, I whispered to myself as I sought out the characteristics of the river only 15 feet before me.

“Peace like a river”. The book of Isaiah uses this analogy twice, though the Bible addresses the topic of peace 251 times. It is the thing that we seek, bend over backward to meet. However, peace is not only as Webster’s defines: “A state of tranquility or quiet”, but experiencing this while meeting many bumps and unexpected twists and turns on life’s journey. Peace is not something that we can attain on our own merit, despite our best effort.

If you are like me, you may have attempted to eliminate activities or remove yourself from certain draining situations in hopes of finding peace. For many of us, we reason that we’re too busy to really have peace in our lives and that perhaps once we make it through this season, then…we can have peace–that restfulness that we seek. However, we are not meant to live life in the stillness of a…a pond! Think about that. How would we demonstrate our character, our faith, our reliance on Christ if we lived within the safety of ripple-less waters? Peace can be found within the raging waters of life if we continue to go back to the Source of peace, the Prince of Peace

Christ is the upstream tributary, or source, that feeds into the river. Rivers are constantly being renewed by active, ongoing motion. It is not filled once and left to fend for itself. Christ encourages we who are thirsty, we who are in need, to come to the fountain (Is. 55:1) Here, He fills us with His life-giving water.

This filling enables us, like the river, to spill out into another body of water, overflowing into the lives of those around us.

Sitting on the wet sand banks, holding my sweet Meg in my arms, kissing her plump cheeks and inhaling her sweet baby fragrance, I understand the analogy of “peace like a river”for the first time ever–and in that moment, I released my preconceived notions that life should be easier, without so much pain, and heartache and embraced the fact that my seasons of adversity have actually led me into the arms of the Prince of Peace.

Undoubtedly, storms of adversity will wash over us, attempting to steal our attention from the One who gives us peace. Beloved, don’t let them. Keep going back to the source.

Christ desperately grieves for us when our hearts and souls are in unnecessary turmoil (Luke 19:41-42).
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I can’t help but to think of the parable about the disciples out at sea when a terrible storm began to rage; violently tossing their boat about the outrageous waves, completely and unequivocally terrifying them. I imagine as they saw Jesus walking among the perilous waves toward them, they believed He would save them by calming the storm. They knew He could; they’d seen Him perform miracles before. However, their thoughts were  interrupted as Jesus called out to them, “Take Courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid”. It is here that you would expect Jesus to calm the storm. He did not. Not until after he climbed into the boat.

I believe we can identify with the disciples here: believing that peace is equated with rescuing—from calming the storms of life. “The point is not that we don’t have anything to fear, but that [Christ’s] presence is the basis for our courage” (Beth Moore). His peace is the fruit of His spirit at work in our lives.

With the “winds still raging, He said, ‘Take Courage. It is I. Don’t be afraid’”. We can have peace when we authentically surrender to the trustworthy, sovereign authority of Jesus and keep going back to the “well”, while chaotic uncertainties and exhausting stressors surround us. (Sigh! Can you possible grasp this?)

I set Meg down in the sand and encouraged her to play, when I discovered a brutally weathered and beaten oyster shell. It revealed a life of being carelessly tossed about in the continual motion of the waters. I flipped it over, rubbing my thumb along its smooth, iridescent inner shell, thinking that perhaps an irritation the size of a grain of sand had made its way into its life, forming a pearl, a treasure of great value.

jewelry-420018_960_720I had been wounded to my very core 18 months earlier when I had been raped, conceiving a child, my Meg, as a result. To say my heart had been hemorrhaging all those months as I attempted to understand where God was in all of this, is a gross understatement. I went from blaming Him for the situation– because He allowed it to happen, angrily accusing Him of not loving me; to a place where I fully embraced Genesis 50:20, “What Satan intended for evil, God intended for good”. In this moment, holding Meg, my precious pearl– a seeming reminder of incredible pain–she was/is infinitely more of reminder of the peace that God grants us when we surrender to His authority.

My chin quivered and my nose began to run as I contemplated this beautiful, tangible lesson I believe God orchestrated specifically for me this day; this day that I had gone fishing for peace with my Dad.

I bit my quivering lip, trying to compose my emotions as I ran out to my Dad. With Meg in tow in one arm, and the oyster shell in the other, I called out “Hey Dad, look what I just found”! We paused for a warm bologna sandwich, while sitting in the warm cab of his truck, and through heavy, gut wrenching sobs, I shared with him what I believe the Lord had taught me there on the banks of the Stilly River.

Meg’s name means “pearl”. She was named Meg for that meaning. She was brought into this life through a horrific situation, but without a doubt, she is my pearl of great value. So great in fact that a Merchant I know so very personally sold everything He had for her…and for you…and for me (Matthew 13:45).

woman-591576_960_720Our identity is not in the bumps and bruises that we accrue; rather our identity is the One who freely gives us peace in the trials of life. He sees you as His pearl, nothing less!

The oyster shell, 16 years later, still sits on Meg’s dresser and serves as reminder that pearls weather storms of life and peace can and will accompany us when we surrender to our sovereign Lord’s authority.

I went fishing with my dad that day and caught a whole lot of peace!

Yellow Roses; A Father’s Day Tribute

IMG_3711Today, marks the sixth Father’s Day, the sixth year of heart-to-heart conversations gone by, the sixth year of missing my Daddy’s big bear hugs and whispered, I love yous. I can still see him as he was, however– in his baseball cap and Levis, with that familiar side-to-side walk. I can still hear his calming voice and see his crooked smile as he’d cock his head to one side when he’d greet me, “Hey-ya Karyn”. When I close my eyes, I can almost feel him–his gruff hand in mine, smell him–his Old Spice soap, hear him–his laugh–ahhh, my heart smiles and weeps with the memory.

I wish I had held onto more of him when I had him here. I wish I had listened more intently to his words of love as well as admonishments; loved more deeply; given more freely. I wish I had hugged him a little longer; visited more often. I wish I hadn’t taken him for granted.

I wrote the following post a year after he passed away. And although it is not the anniversary of his passing,  it seemed fitting to share it today, on Father’s Day. I miss you like crazy, Daddy and love you abundantly more. Abundantly!!!


Written July 13, 2011

IMG_3712One year ago today as the warm sunshine poured through the large windows of room 335, I laid next to my Daddy in his hospital bed kissing his cheeks, his hands, his forehead… a million times over, embracing a precious memory with each kiss, saying good-bye, I’m sorry, and thank you with each remembered story. Though my mind has been swept over with these memories as of late, I do not write this morning from a place of sorrow so much as I write from a place of gratitude. Just a few thoughts and memories…

I kissed and nuzzled his cheeks a million times that day, feeling as though I couldn’t stop, not wanting that kiss to be the last one I ever gave him. His cheeks were rough despite hospice’s attempt to shave him. I found it endearing however, as my mind wandered to the days when I would sit on the bathroom counter and watch him shave after he’d come in the house from a long day of milking or working in his yard. I always loved watching this ritual. Still, to this day, I can see him shaving two or three upward strokes, then rinsing the blade in a sink of warm, sudsy water. I can still hear the tap, tap of the blade against the side of the sink and smell the distinct fragrance of his shaving cream. He sure got mad when I’d steal it to shave my legs as a teenager. I can still hear his voice as he’d yell from the bottom of the stairs, “Karyn Lee…bring it down here”. He didn’t even have to clarify what “it” was. We both knew.

His shaving cream wasn’t the only thing I would “steal” from him. To this day, nearly 20 years living outside my parent’s home, I have a reputation for stealing Dad’s flannel shirts. It didn’t matter if they were the “good flannel shirts” or ones he wore for milking or yard work. I just adored them and everyone knew it. Often, I would hear my name being called from the bottom of the stairs but it had a different ring to it. He wasn’t mad, like he was with the shaving cream. It was more like “I’m flattered, but honey, you gotta stop doing this”. Once he called me, a year or so after I had moved out and gotten married to ask if I had stolen his new flannel shirt! I didn’t…honestly… but still to this day, I cannot live down the fact that I would take his shirts and make them my own. In fact, my youngest niece calls me, “Aunt Flannel”, which makes me laugh because I only wear flannel shirts when I garden. I guess I still want to be just like my dad. I don’t have any of his shirts now and that crushes me. There was just something about his shirts that no one else, not even my dear husband’s shirts have. I guess I felt safe wrapped up in his over sized shirts, close to him somehow. Sure wish I had stolen just one more.

I held one of his hands almost the whole day, kissed every finger, traced the lines, and winced at his countless scars. I love those big, rough, and calloused hands. I always have. They spoke volumes about the kind of man he was– strong, able, learning, giving, sacrificial, loving. I still recall what it felt like to hold his hand, to have him give that little extra squeeze right before he’d let go. His hands engulfed my hand and I loved it. I always felt like his little girl when I held his hand…even when I was all grown up and had children of my own. I miss holding his hands, praying with him, and working alongside him. He taught me everything with those hands–how to tie my shoes, ride a bike, sweep a floor, milk cows, pull weeds, hug, love, give, serve…

One of his absolute loves was working in his yard. He had an amazing gift that dazzled people who would pass by. Though, like a true gardener, we never call it “work”, for it is something that feeds the soul in a way that nothing else does. I had the privilege to have my hands in his yard this week, to pull his weeds, to prune his Rhodies, edge his flowerbeds… The most difficult thing for me to touch were his roses…yellow, vibrant roses…these were his pride and joy. I saved them for last. And wept as I breathed deeply the sweetest scent…a scent I didn’t realize I associate with my dad no matter where I smell it.

On my knees already, I buried my nose into the spent pedals I’d just pruned and allowed the Lord to wash over me, to touch me with his tender grace once again. His mercy touched my brokenness and I knew I was safe and loved completely even without the touch of my dad’s hand or being wrapped in an oversized flannel. My Heavenly Father swooped down and held this broken heart of mine and reminded me of words I had read just that morning, “However serious we believe Good Friday is, we are confident that Easter Sunday lies ahead of us.” Meaning, that no matter what disappointments, frustrations, hurts, injustices, or loss come our way because of our faith, our hope in Christ, we KNOW Easter Sunday—the day of Jesus’ resurrection—and the fulfilling of His promise– is right around the corner. Christ did not promise an easy, painless life. He did promise however, that Heaven would conquer all in the end (Easter Sunday).

Death will be overturned and the fragrance of yellow roses will fill the air, I am certain of that!

My Dad’s heart desire was to meet Jesus…boy, did he ever speak often of this desire and believed as my favorite author, Brennan Manning, does that “Death is not the ultimate, but rather the final breakthrough into the waiting, outstretched arms of the Father.” He could not wait to see Jesus face to face. I often picture my dad on his knees before the emerald throne singing, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty” with tears of great joy streaming down his cheeks and with a heart that swells with such love, such gratitude for ur Heavenly Father. I miss my Daddy terribly but I KNOW Easter Sunday will come for me too– and one day, I, too, will run through heaven’s gates. I will embrace my Lord, my God first, but then I am hugging my Daddy!

Until that day, I am hugging him in my heart.

When God Disappoints

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Some of the most remarkable men in my life wear ties; some not so well. Here: my hottie husband and I trying to learn to tie a bow tie. Lord help us!

Anyone who knew my dad well, knew exactly what to expect from him, which included what he was likely to wear on special occasions. This stately piece of attire I’m about to mortify you with, I mean describe to you was a gift he received for one of his birthdays sometime before marrying my mom in 1972. Picture it: an unconventionally, extra wide, pea-green and paisley, polyester tie. Can you see it? To say it was ugly is a gross and I do mean gross understatement! He loved it, however; and he would don it proudly for each and every celebration throughout my entire childhood and well into my adulthood. I am sure somewhere during those decades this majestic piece of work went in and out of style, but honestly my siblings and I never saw it. My dad loved the post disco, hippy era and sometimes it made itself known in his choice of clothing! I smile as I write this, giggling actually, picturing more than just this made famous tie because although we were genuinely embarrassed during some parts of our adolescence, we also got such a laugh out of his predictability, and in the end, we encouraged him to wear his green tie! When he passed away nearly five years ago, we three kids were not the only ones to talk about that hideous green tie! The memories attached to it…insurmountable.

Not only insurmountable because he wore that ugly tie so often, but because it meant that he was present and you knew exactly what you could expect from him because not only was his character consistent; his actions were as well. He was unlike many dads and I knew that from the time I was a young girl, though to be honest, the older I become, the more remarkable I find him to be and the more I desire to emulate so much of who he was to me.  But I’m not my dad. We are all individuals, all with our unique personality, interests, and passions; and yet even as individuals, we can become predictable.

I’m an adventurous kind of girl. I love mixing it up, defying predictability and charging full steam ahead to take on challenges that would make most people’s heart skip a beat. However, in my day-to-day, I love stability. Predictability is my friend. There is safety here and the opportunity to be successful in our careers, relationships, etc. can be fully embraced because we know what to expect– and therefore know what is expected of us in return. With predictability, life operates like a well-oiled machine because security and minimal risk reside here. Not all things are predictable, as we know, and it’s in this uncertainty where we question or doubt or lose faith in what we have always believed.

Though we might not breathe the words to life, I believe we have expectations that even God should be predictable, because when we read verses like Hebrews 13:8, which says “Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever”, we interpret that as His ways are unchanging. We assume that how we saw Him work and move in the past is how He will continue to operate; but when He doesn’t, we wonder if we really knew Him, we question Him, and our faith begins to waver or even disbands altogether.

Thinking Christ is predictable, although I believe common, is tragic because sadly, it limits our view of Christ and even our faith. We forget that our perceptions are finite, limited, and somehow, we incorrectly assume God fits within our parameters. We humanize Him, pulling Him to our level, and we forget to make room for the possibility that the vastness of Him extends beyond our scope of reasoning, beyond our scope of possibilities, beyond our comprehension.

But the truth is, God doesn’t wear the same green tie to all special occasions.

We confuse same action for same character; meaning we feel we can trust Him and love Him when He responds in ways we expect or have our approval, but when He doesn’t, we doubt. I cringe as I write this because I am guilty of putting limited expectations on God and find myself the guest of honor at my very own pity party, when He responds differently or not at all. With each trial, I walk away thinking I’ve learned better, gained a better sense of Who He is, but when the world closes in on me again, it ushers in doubts that God’s timing really is right and best, that His ways really are better than the perfectly good, sparkly option I have readily available. I have felt, more times than I care to admit (because it’s an embarrassing amount), that God has failed me, that He has let me down, that maybe He has even given up on me. When I fall into this way of thinking, I realize I have avoided the real issue at hand, and that is: I am still a work in progress (Phil. 1:6), I am still knee deep in the muck and the mire. I am still learning what it means to authentically cultivate a deep and intimate, abiding trust in God. Sigh. My heart can scarcely face the reality of my years of selfishness and ignorance, where I have made faith more about me, than about Him. Admittedly, I sometimes want a predictable God and an easy faith.

Sometimes, I wish He wore that green tie!

So, what does scripture mean when it tells us we can count on Christ to remain the same yesterday and today and forever? I think it means we can depend on His “solid nature”, meaning that His actions, even if different from one situation to another, will always reflect His same sacrificial, tenacious love for us.  Just this week, my youngest daughter, through her heart-wrenching sobs cried out, “I love God, Momma, but I just don’t see Him. I keep asking Him to—–, and He doesn’t listen. He’s not doing it”. As I addressed her tender heart, I touched on several things, but smiled when I heard myself say, “God loves us in ways that sometimes makes sense to us and sometimes in ways that don’t make sense. It’s in the hard times, the times where He feels entirely distant, that we learn He is anything but predictable in how He operates”. My daughter sat completely unmoved, unaffected by my brilliant pep talk, but I went to bed that night with the thought that, “God loves me no matter how I feel or what I see Him doing”. Truly, the fact remains the same: He loves me. God doesn’t fall into our spiritualized image of Who we want Him to be. With time, we’ll learn to count on His innate goodness and mercy and on the sustaining intimacy of His presence.

One thing we can count on is that whatever the Lord does or however He does it, His spirit will remain consistent; He is unchanging. Perhaps, we need to remember too, that His thoughts are not our thoughts, neither are His way our ways (Isaiah 55:8). Christ is not predictable, but He is unfathomably, most certainly dependable.

In the end, I’m glad He doesn’t wear a green tie, but instead wears a robe of righteousness.