Monday, April 20, 2009

In the World

"But these are still in the world. Holy father, keep those you have given me in the power of your name. Then they will be one, even as we are one." John 17:11

Some mornings, it is easy to wake up and cheerfully face the day. Other mornings are not so easy. It was a lovely weekend, with lots of sun and some fun events. Today, it is cold again, it is Monday morning, and a storm is brewing. On top of that my body aches, as if to press the point even further. Mondays tend to remind us loudly that there is so much to do. Mondays can be shrill reminders of just how human we are. This temporal world and time ticking away can remind us all too clearly how fallible and broken we are.

Jesus is praying for his friends. He knows that they will be harshly treated and misunderstood throughout the world. Every day will be a challenge for them once they are separated (in the flesh) from Jesus. He knows they will face so many gray, ugly Mondays, where their faith seems weak and their resolve fleeting. And so Jesus prays for them. And he tenderly holds us, knowing all too well what living in the bonds of flesh and time are like. Human weakness and vulnerability are all too real. What a wonderful thing, for God to know so viscerally the pain of living with our deteriorating bodies, within time that gets away, and within cultures that names sweetness and tenderness as failure.

Today, I want to live with the kind of compassion that Jesus shows for his disciples. They are weak, they are human and he loves them. I want to forgive myself for being fragile and human today, and give thanks for the vulnerable humans who cross my path today. May we all live knowing that we need to be carried in prayer. May we all live rejoicing in the knowledge that God knows our weaknesses and holds us in the palm of God's hand.

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