You know that delight when during very ordinary actions you come across something truly extraordinary? I love that feeling! I’m a shopper; it’s one of the ways I play. It rejuvenates me and truly brings me joy. Especially when I walk into a store looking for a good deal and find instead red signs shouting 75% off the lowest markdown price and 15% more if you have the coupon! My breathing speeds up, heart pounds, speed increases, and I practically dive into the racks to find THE DEAL that delights me down to my toes.
Sometimes when I’m talking to people I have that feeling too. A moment of extraordinary beauty, a conversation that goes down unexpectedly, or thoughtful paths delight me way down deep. Or, when I expect something to be kind of the usual, and instead something really wonderful unfolds.
Then there are writers like Kara Tippett. I can’t even tell you how I stumbled across her website, mundanefaithfulness.com, but reading her blog woke up that feeling. Here was something special, raw, personal…uncovered and relatable. I wanted to read more. So, I bought her book, The Hardest Peace, and began underlining in the introduction:
Facedown in my bed I could not manufacture anything. I couldn’t serve, couldn’t gather friends, neighbors, the broken to build community. I was helpless. I was a church planter’s wife who could not be left alone to care for my three-year-old daughter. There were days I could not walk downstairs to join my family for a simple meal. In those moments, I could do nothing else but begin to hunt for grace. And I found it, in the bottom of myself, my illness, my terrible. I found the Jesus who humbly washes the feet of His disciples.
Kara’s words, her experience, her book are for all of us because we all face the hard edges of life. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a parent, global worker, ministry leader, business person, teacher or student. Suffering, whether in marriage, parenting, singleness, separation, aging…living is warmly welcomed on the pages of the book.
When I finished reading (a short read), I sat thinking. Kara’s words pushed through the busyness of my life, reactivating that deep desire to know Jesus intimately and show him powerfully to the world. She reminded me that weakness and brokenness are where the glory of Jesus is most clearly and luminously seen. Her choices in her story affirmed that God always gives us choice – to be static with suffering or let it work a more complete, transforming and beautiful work in us.
With a more open and grateful heart, I moved from her book back into the experience of my day. I felt that delight (though with far more solemnity) that I feel when something extraordinary occurs right in the middle of mundane. My heart beat faster. My breathing sped up. The possibilities were all before me. Which part would be just for me?
Good Read #4: The Hardest Peace: Expecting Grace in the Midst of Life’s Hard by Kara Tippetts