READINGOld Testament: Jeremiah 25:30-38
Psalms: Psalms 119:145-176
New Testament: Romans 10:14-21
Gospel: John 10:1-18
Evening Psalms: Psalms 128, 129, 130
“Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord; Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.”
I thought that, as I got older, life would get easier. With knowledge and experience, I’d get better at my job, better at being a husband, better at being a father.
About a year ago, my mentor at work told me there would soon be a reorganization, and I was in a position to define the work of a new team. Well, I didn’t. I was so opposed to the reorg, I didn’t want to define the work for a team that I didn’t think should even exist.
A few months later, management made the reorg. I ended up on the team anyway, and getting a project that, frankly, was from the bottom of the barrel. The reorg also put a lot of my friends out of work. I was a mess for weeks. It wasn’t just that I made a mistake with my career, but I was terrified of the future. How long until I was laid off? So many people around me had been out of work for months, even years. How long until that was me?
One night, I lay in bed and prayed. Not for any change. Not for any understanding. But just to feel God’s presence. To feel His love. I didn’t want to feel this love through the people around me; I wanted a hug from our Father.
And there was nothing. My heart was wrapped in the same coldness that had been surrounding me for weeks.
So how did I get from there to here: writing a Lenten devotional?
I really just wanted to pull away from anyone not immediately close to me. But I already had a commitment to Cub Scouts, and I couldn’t just walk away from that. Some friends had some projects, and I helped them. In all of these little “helps,” I would feel good, if only for a while. I’d actually try to fight this good feeling, push it down in favor of melancholy. But whenever I’d help someone, I’d continue to feel just a little bit of peace.
Was this God’s love? His hug? I honestly don’t know.
Life will always be a struggle; and many days I feel like pulling into my shell. But for me, it is only in action — in service — that I feel God’s love.