this sky is rising

It's 5 a.m. and I'm up, at SFO, checked in for a flight that gets me to Grand Rapids, MI, for an event I'm speaking at tomorrow. Yesterday I went to church, an Episcopal parish I joined recently, when I relocated to San Francisco.

After church, the minister asked me what my week was going to be like.

Thinking of my 3:30 a.m. Monday wake-up time, I laughed.  "Tomorrow I have to be up earlier than God," I said.  Only later did I reconsider my words as being possibly sacrilegious, not to mention untrue. Because, according to the Bible, Divine Love never slumbers or sleeps. desertflower

Which is especially poignant because, in sacrifice of sleep, I stayed awake and watched the presidential debate.

Um, yeah, so, there were a lot of disturbing things said by the Republican presidential nominee that came to light over the past week (You can friend/follow me on FB or Twitter to hear my thoughts about that.)

Suffice it to say, I haven't done much slumbering or sleeping in the past few days.

And yet.

Yesterday I went to church.  Mostly because I love communion -- standing at the altar with my hands cupped, in need of mercy.  Begging for grace.

Before we danced our way to the communion table (YES, this church dances to the table), the presiding priest, Sara Miles, gave a short message about gratitude -- what it means, and why it matters.

Then she opened the conversation and asked people to say what they were grateful for.

A man with a long white beard, ambulating with a walker, stood unsteadily and said, with tears streaming down his face, palms open and held upwards, "I am looking for housing, and it's hard." (SF is the most expensive real estate market in the country.) "But," he continued.  "I have read the Gospel and I am giving thanks because, even though I don't have a place to live, I know help is on its way."

I know help is on its way. 

That man's words, courage and faith undid me.

As I walked around SF yesterday afternoon, as I watched the debate last night, as I moderated social media comments and as I packed for my next speaking events, where I'm talking about a loving and compassionate God who loves and sees, I thought about that man, without a home, palms open, voice shaking, giving thanks for help that's already on its way.

And this is what it means, I think, to follow Jesus.  Especially in times of trouble and turmoil.

To believe in Love. To trust in Divine provision.  To believe that the sky is not falling; it's rising.  To insist that Help, no matter how unlikely it seems, is already on its way.