It's true that I have a WWII book addiction, I've had it for about 5 years, and 2 or 3 years into it I began to ask God why I was reading these books. Because. I mean.
Then about six months ago? ish? I started reading a bit about Corrie Ten Boom. Not a lot, just a little, and I wasn't sure why I was reading her either.
And now, today. I am in my guest room, which I've been clearing out and cleaning and redecorating and now it's my favorite room in the house, the place where I like to do my praying. I'm sitting here with my journal and my Catholic Message translation (The Message = the bible for those of us who are bad at bibling) and I feel like God is telling me to 1) read more Corrie Ten Boom and 2) write this thought process out. So. Here I am.
The question I have for God these days is: What would you have me do in this moment, Lord? In this chaotic season, in this moment and time in the history of your creation? What do you have for me, Lord? What say YOU?
Because I know what everyone else is saying. Resist resist resist resist resist resist. And then the other side: stop overreacting, end the hysteria, take a deep breath, let's determine whether it's as terrible as it looks, maybe it's good, maybe it will work out, it is good, this is what we need.
But what say YOU, Lord?
About a month before the election I was praying into some specific things that'd happened in my world and I heard God say, "You are afraid I am no longer Good." But instead of shaming and lambasting and scolding me for doubting Him, what I heard in my heart was a litany of His goodness and promises to His people. I AM a Good Father, I will NOT forsake my people, I will NOT abandon my children, I have NOT ignored their cries.
And this has been the hope in my heart since.
So okay, God, you're Good. But all these things that are happening right now, they do NOT LOOK GOOD. Where are you? What do you have to say about this? What do you want ME to do?
This morning, as I asked that question for the umpteenth time - Lord! What does resistance look like for ME?! - I heard the word "contend".
When I first heard this word I thought it meant "contend for people". Contend for souls. Be in relationship, intentionally and lovingly, in a larger and louder way than I ever have. I think this is true and it resonates, but as I type I am feeling another word stir.
Contend for hope.
And honestly God? That feels harder. The people I know, they don't want to hear hope. They are in the rage and despair place, the lamenting place. My heart people? To speak the word hope over them is like to invalidate the real things they are feeling, the real things happening. Does supporting Hope make me foolish? Uncaring? Does it categorize me with a group of people with whom I'd rather not be associated?
But what does God say to us, over and over and over? DO NOT BE AFRAID. I AM WITH YOU.
I hear real life people shouting, "UM, THERE ARE SOME SUPER VALID REASONS TO BE AFRAID."
God says, "TRUST IN ME."
People say, "FIGHT BACK."
I wonder: Can I trust AND fight back? Which leads me back to my question: what does resistance look like for ME?
I have a vague picture in my mind of what this Godly resisting woman looks like. She is brave, beautiful, fearless, horribly vulnerable, a heart gaping open. She identifies injustice with her weeping and resists with radical loving. Does this even make sense? Her eyes are open, she is attuned to truth, she saves herself for contending and all the while is obedient to the Lord.
How do I resist? I enter more fully into the woman God made me to be. I contend for those in pain and those in the margins with the word He's given me: Hope.
We don't all have the same assignment. I don't know what resistance looks like for you, though truthfully, even if you don't feel like there is anything to resist, I think God is asking all of his people to join him in a stronger way. I am being called to resist in the spiritual realm, which sounds like crazy talk and not something you go around telling people. "Oh, I can't make it to the march, sorry, I need to spend that morning in my prayer room contending for hope for the nations." RIGHT.
But I think that's what my resistance looks like. I think that's what God is asking of me. I think he wants me to continue to bring this question to him. If Jesus has overcome the world, how can I give in to despair? So what does not giving in look like, Lord? What do you have for me today?
Pretty sure this is why he's asking me to read Corrie Ten Boom. Not because her situation is where we are today (I can just HEAR certain IRL people freaking out at me about that!) but because this is someone who retained faith and hope when things were so utterly frighteningly lost. And that's a huge question for me: does having hope and faith make me one of those unrealistic appeasing idiots? Is hope the right posture to have? Oh dear God, I don't ACTUALLY want to be a fool for Jesus...
But I say yes to Him. I say yes to contending. I say yes to hope. I say yes to what brings life in this season. I'm praying you are finding your assignment and what you need.