This is my Father's world, I proclaim it over and over. We always say, it seems easier to praise God and sense his nearness when we are out in the wild, the wind whipping and our spirits soaring. It's when we get back to the city, to the place where souls stack up sometimes in piles like the news of 58 dead, or in mass graves of massacred Rohingya, that the world seems so glaringly out of hand.
When we were out there between mountain ridges, away from it all, I would look up at times and breathe in as deeply as my lungs would let me; just for a moment, inhale the fresh pine and let the way the light was streaming through golden leaves sink somewhere underneath these thin layers of skin. We need all the beauty we can get.
The rain held off at just the right times; an evening around the fire, assembled ex-nihilo it seemed as Josh brought blazing coals out of nothing like he was a fire-god hovering over water-logged chaos, it's own small miracle. And then we slept under thundering skies, dry beneath the tent layers pounding with the torrents from above.
All it takes is one child slinking an arm around my waist, whispering "I love this" in my ear, for me to feel like all the effort to get out here is worth it. We all love it. How could we not? Breathing the God-intended goodness of a created world and enjoying the nearness of each other without distraction?
The world will crowd in soon enough, and we will bear it together, learning to walk with faltering steps through the days, eyes peeled for grace to understand. Some look for it in explanations, in fault-finding or reading the times like prophets. But Jesus has answered these questions before. When his disciples asked why such tragedy had befallen a blind man, they wanted to blame either his sin or his parents. And Jesus said the root cause was found in neither. So that our days and the evil that befalls us is a mystery to us this side of the veil. But not a malicious mystery. So we walk the days again asking for the grace.