Standing Here

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D_Diana3

Oh, I so don’t want to do this, Lord.
I want to sit in the back,
shut my eyes,
shutter my ears,
close my mouth,
still my voice.

And yet, I cannot.
You compel me, you urge me, you call me out.
You tell me, in no uncertain terms, to stand up.
To stand up and speak.

To stand beside the mothers whose brown boys have been
violently taken from them
To stand beside the Palestinians who come home
to find no home, only a bulldozer.
To stand beside the young ones in Africa,
the boys and the girls,
who are seen as bait or kindling or meat or slaves or
anything other than who they are:
your children, created in your image.

It is hard for me to face the ugliness in this world.
I can barely look at the ugliness in me.
It leaves me feeling
exhausted, frightened, frustrated, confused and angry.

Because here’s the truth, my truth, Lord:
I’ve made it my life’s work to look for the beauty.
I don’t think that’s a bad thing,
not at all.
In fact, I think it’s an act of obedience.

But.
Some things are not beautiful;
they are hideous,
and they demand testimony, too.

Some things are so badly broken,
they must be completely remade,
revised, restored, reformed.
And you, O God, are the only Re-Maker,
Re-Visor, Re-Storer, Re-Former I know.

So, why are you so silent?
Why do you wait?
Where is your powerful word,
your heart-cry for justice,
your miraculous powers?

We are here, Lord.
Standing in the need of miracles.
Standing in the need of help.
Standing in the need of reformation.

How long, O Lord?
How long?

When will you come down
and set things right,
claim your own,
pour out waters of refreshing?
We wait, we wait.

And right now, in this season of waiting,
we say, “Come, Lord Jesus.
Come.”

and then. . .
I look again.
I think again,
I pray again.

And I see the first tiny ripples of
your power beginning to spread.
Your truest friends are writing out signs,
standing on corners,
asking for justice
and not moving until they see it
begin.

Again.

This seems to be the way you work.
This seems to be the way you come,
the way you are always coming.

Even as Jesus said —
it works like leaven in bread,
a seed in a field,
a pearl buried deep.

You choose the small.
You always do.

I long for the BIG, the DRAMATIC, even the CATACLYSMIC.
And yet, it always begins (and continues)
in the small, the few, the least, the littlest, the lost.

Lord, have mercy.
On me, yes.
But most of all tonight,
on your broken world.
And if you’re still in the business of
doing it small,
help me to find the courage to do
whatever small I can.

Help me to stand up.
Help me to speak up.

Kingdom come.

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Diana Trautwein
Married to her college sweetheart for over 40 years, Diana is always wondering about things. She answers to Mom from their three adult kids and spouses and to Nana from their 8 grandkids, ranging in age from 3 to 22. For 17 years, after a mid-life call to ministry, she answered to Pastor Diana in two churches where she served as Associate Pastor. Since retiring at the end of 2010, she spends her time working as a spiritual director and writes on her blog, Just Wondering. For as long as she can remember, Jesus has been central to her story and the church an extension of her family. Not that either church or family is exactly perfect . . . but then, that’s what makes life interesting, right?
Diana Trautwein

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Diana Trautwein
  • This makes me want to cry. Or sob. So many of your questions, desires and longings conveyed here are also mine. Thank you. Thank you. <3

    • pastordt

      I’m so glad this resonated with you, Ganise. Thank you for reading.

  • “You choose the small.
    You always do.”

    This is powerful, Diana. Thank you!

    • pastordt

      Thank you, Idelette.

  • Handsfull

    This is so powerful, Diana. You’ve left me speechless!

    (Donna C)

    • pastordt

      Thank you? I think so. But you know I always love to hear your words. 🙂

  • Pingback: » Standing Here()

  • Anne-Marie

    mercy needed, and direction to know what and how. Thank you Diana for voicing – the sorrow, the evil, the confusion, the desire. In our new place of worship, this season is more for waiting and looking around at what is, to welcome the hope of Christ come down. It feels so acute this year. The not yet of the now and not yet. Yes to small, but to acting, but to how? Powerful. XO

    • pastordt

      The now and the not yet – yes, exactly, Anne-Marie. And the how is tough to figure, but I’m trying. Joining the Red Couch this month as a beginning and reading Christena’s book. Hoping to volunteer at a nearby school that is 90% below the poverty line. Small things. Small things.

  • cjdeboer

    What beautiful words Diana – so relevant for this season.

    • pastordt

      thank you, Claire.

  • Lisha Epperson

    “But.
    Some things are not beautiful;
    they are hideous,
    and they demand testimony, too.”
    Praise God for those who dare to tell the stories. All of them.
    Wistful, hopeful, beautiful Diana! Thanks.

    • pastordt

      Thanks so much, Lisha.

    • Saskia Wishart

      Yes this line. Powerful.

  • Sandy Hay

    “You choose the small. You always do.” I so needed to be reminded of this. when I look at the paper or the news or read here on Facebook, my mind goes to the thought “what in the work can I do about this.” You just told me.

    • pastordt

      I’m glad this is helpful to you, Sandy. I’m ‘big’ on ‘small’ these days!

  • Erin Wilson

    Kingdom come…indeed.

    • pastordt

      Amen.

  • Holly

    Oh, how I want to be one of God’s “truest friends.” This piece is my heart’s echo and my soul’s cry. Thank you for writing out the hard things, Diana. Thank you for being true.

    • pastordt

      Thank YOU, Holly, for your kind words. Merry Christmas, friend, even in the grief. . .