when you can't find the heart of the disappointment.

when you feel achy and sucker-punched but also steady and these feelings don't sit together nicely.

so you untie it, unpack it, and let it all fall out.

and the heart-y conversation leads to bigger awareness. it's not so much disappointment that lurks, it's sadness. and probably it's not just today's sadness that leaves you so beat-up, it's all of life...the weight of praying with friends through suicides, tumors, breaking bodies, unjust work duties, dying babies, broken families.

because here, on one hand, weeps sin and all the resounding emptiness: death, brokenness, people deluded by a crafty enemy, unmet expectations, failures in understanding.

and there, on the other hand, shines life and truth: about God, about your found-ness, about what the church will be, eternity, and glory.

and here are you are in the mystery of the middle where waiting is a major theme and all of creation groans and bones ache for new marrow, where character is being sharpened and lives are finding healing and thankfulness is an honest possibility, and where hope is a life ring preserving those holding on.

and there is a balance here in the middle...some days tip you toward the dark of what isn't, other days toward the glory of what will be because, really, there is no way to change any of the life that rests on either hand. you know that sin will be sin, people will be people, hard will never be easy. BUT you also know the God on whom you wait, the Savior who reconciled the two worlds so that sin can give an account and glory can triumph, you know the Spirit of the one who is comforter, healer, counselor, guide, and he is trust-worthy so if you let the sadness be what it is; if you let the overwhelming do just that: overwhelm; if you acknowledge the grief and the ache and just sit here in the holy, mysterious middle without all the answers and sometimes without even a clue, you will find that the God who sets his gaze on you (what?! this is profound!) will eventually allow the days to shift back toward the other hand where joy awaits and hope is as tall as a mountain.

when you are engulfed in the sadness and brokenness, the image in your mind's eye always returns to this: Jesus, knocking on your front door.

let love and faithfulness never leave you. bind them around your neck write them on the tablet of your heart