the place long devastated


Last night I had my favorite kind of conversation -- a good, long, deep, in-person one with two of my favorite Portland people.  We were talking about human motivation -- about what makes us do what we do -- and my friend said that people are motivated by their deepest need. I stayed up late thinking about that idea, and woke up thinking about it again.  I was thinking about my deepest need.  My least healed wound.  I realized that I don't often think about it -- because it seems too good to be true, that Love would want to come all the way in.  That Love would be that generous, that merciful.

When Jesus began his ministry, he read from Isaiah 61.


The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,     because the Lord has anointed me     to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,     to proclaim freedom for the captives     and release from darkness for the prisoners,  to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor     and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,      and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty     instead of ashes, the oil of joy     instead of mourning, and a garment of praise     instead of a spirit of despair...

They will rebuild the ancient ruins     and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities     that have been devastated for generations.


Maybe this Advent season, you have a place like that.


A secret buried so deep, it seems like it would take an impossible amount of courage to unearth it.  A wound that aches so deeply, you've given up all hope for healing.  A place so long devastated and deserted, you've haven't dared to even dream of rebuilding.

And maybe this Advent season, you need to be reminded that this -- this place long devastated in you -- is what Advent is all about.

Jesus came for you.

Jesus came for this.

Jesus came to give you the courage to speak your truth, to name your deepest wound, to acknowledge your deepest longing.

This Advent season, Divine Love is knocking on the door of your heart.

Divine Love is ready to begin the healing process.

Divine Love is ready to rebuild your place long devastated. 

Are you?