A Note from Jules

While away on vacation last week, I was blessed to ride some of the best rollercoasters in the world, at Cedar Point in Northern Ohio near my hometown. My husband and I are theme park megafans, and I can honestly say there is almost nowhere I find more joy than at the top of that first big hill, about to slide 200 feet toward the ground at a hundred miles an hour. But before the big thrill, after they strapped us into our seats, the click-click-click of going upwards toward the top always makes me ask myself, ‘Lord, what have I done? This is a terrible idea!’

I sometimes feel as though our faith is the same. As one of you said to me this week, reflecting on Christian life and what God asks of us, ‘I knew when I said yes, this would be hard, but I didn’t know it would be this hard.’ Amen, sister. I feel you.

There is much that God asks of us – to give our precious time, our money, our tender hearts, over to the Divine who we cannot physically see most of the time. We risk forgiveness being sought and not accepted. We set our failures at the altar for all to see. We bring our vulnerabilities and brokenness, hoping and praying for acceptance. And it’s hard. We wonder, ‘What have I done?’ and ‘Why is this so hard?’

And Jesus answers, ‘Because I ask you to be different in this hurting world so that there can be healing. Someone has to go first.’

I pray that this week, whatever you offer is met with grace. That you find that your greatest gifts, offered with possibly shaking hands and hard-beating hearts, are met with love. And that when others offer theirs to you, you reach out in such a way that they are seen in their full humanity. Because – like those rollercoasters – there may be fear, but pure joy can follow. Blessings on your ride. Thank you for offering yourself to the One who never fails us.