Sad, Tired…and Hopeful

This week I have been overcome by a sadness and despair over the world we live in, unlike any time that I remember. I realized that what I am experiencing is grief, a sense of loss. Even as I trust in the Lord for a hope beyond all of this, I am burdened for the brokenness of our land. And quite honestly, I am tired of it all.

And I couldn’t help but think of a conversation from the movie The Green Mile. If you’ve seen the movie, you probably remember the iconic scene when the character named John Coffey says this: 

I’m tired, Boss. Tired of bein’ on the road, lonely as a sparrow in the rain. I’m tired of never having me a buddy to be with, to tell me where we’s going to or coming from, or why. Mostly, I’m tired of people being ugly to each other. I’m tired of all the pain I feel and hear in the world every day. There’s too much of it – it’s like pieces of glass in my head, all the time. Can you understand?

That sums up so much of what I’ve feeling. I’m tired of the discord, and the injustice, and the hypocrisy. I’m tired of the judgmentalism, the gracelessness and the double standards. I’m tired of the lack of character of our politicians, the lack of integrity of our media, and the toxicity of our social media. And mostly, I’m tired of people being ugly to each other–even among Christians. There’s too much of it–it’s like pieces of glass in my head.

This has been a rough spring, with a pandemic and quarantine, isolation from one another and confusion about who to believe and what we all should do.  And now there is rioting and violence and senseless loss of life–injustice on top of injustice–which have led to a different round of lockdowns, this time because of curfews.

And add to all that–selfishly–there’s no sports to watch, my vacation was postponed, I can’t see so many of my church family that I love so much, and life seems like it’s in a perpetual state of hold. 

I have prayed through the COVID crisis that the Lord would use this time to break us, show us the emptiness of our self-sufficiency, and draw us to Himself. For the most part, that hasn’t happened yet, even with a virus that has killed more than 100,000 people in our nation alone. So perhaps we are moving to the next level, with even more discord, and my prayer is that He will use this current crisis to humble us and bring us to our knees.

One day this week, during my morning devotion, I was “casting my burdens” upon the Lord, journaling all the things that were weighing me down. And I sensed the Lord saying, basically, “Imagine how I feel.”

And I have, ever sense. I can only imagine His disappointment at the daily sin and hypocrisy and self-righteous attitudes–and that’s just from me. Multiply that toward all those whom He loves infinitely and unconditionally, who continue to turn their backs to Him, and continue to “be ugly to each other.” And yet, He never grows tired of loving us. Since that time, my prayer has been, “Lord, break my heart for what breaks Your’s.”

I saw a tweet from a pastor I know this week. He recalled that when he was a teenager, there were race riots, rocket launches and then a revival (the Jesus Movement). Then he added, this week there have been race riots and a rocket launch….Lord, please send revival. That’s my prayer too. And let it begin in me.

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23) Hang in there, I’m praying for each of you, and I look forward to seeing you soon.

–Pastor Ken