You know what life is like? Life is like going into your laundry room and hearing a suspicious “ker-chunk, ker-CHUNK” coming from your clothes dryer. Not being your first rodeo, you stop that thing right away and investigate. Congratulations! There is an ORANGE CRAYON in your dryer!
Proud of your ability to avert disaster and do all things well, you shut the dryer door and try again. But wait: “Ker-chunk, ker CHUNK!” Now you know exactly what to do. You open the door, and, sure enough, ANOTHER CRAYON! You repeat this process over…and over…until you have retrieved a total of SEVEN crayons from a fate of waxy pulverization in your fresh towels.
But wait, again: because you refuse to be outwitted by a clothes dryer (or the toddler who put the crayons in the wash), you take out each bad boy in that whole load of laundry, and check for MORE crayons. Yes, even the pockets of your husband’s bedraggled cargo pants. Upon completing your search, you are so pleased that you actually go and tell people about how you saved your laundry from a disastrous seven-crayon disaster.
Only, there’s one problem. There weren’t seven crayons in your laundry. There were eight.
Why, oh why does life treat us like this? Why do we feel as if we’ve finally escaped some oppressive force, and yet now we have just one more thing happen? One more flat tire? One more round of destructive weather? One more international crisis? One more iteration of Covid?
It’s immensely challenging, in the midst of the many hurts and frustrations of this life, to keep sight of how God views this world of the bowed down, the captive, the hungry, and the oppressed. The God of Jacob raises up those who are bowed down…sets the captive free…the God of Jacob keeps faith forever. “Forever” certainly takes a lot more foresight (and hindsight) than I have. Look at me, I couldn’t even foresee how there’d be one more Crayola in my dryer.
Life in the Living God demands a severe amount of trust. Of hope. Of patience. Of turning our hearts and minds to something we can’t see or hear. It is the Living God who opens our senses to what is standing before us: Ephphatha!—be opened (cf. Mark 7:31-37).
God calls us to trust, even if we have to wipe smears of melted pink plastic out of our clothes dryer. For, unlike us in our bowed-down pride, God does all things well.
In the midst of these things that crowd out the sounds of God’s love—be they pin pricks of pink crayons or far more significant crises—God calls us to be strong, and fear not. Christ is ready for us—ready for us to see, to sing, and to circumvent the next disaster which befalls our laundry (which, by the way, was an exploded disposable diaper).