When There’s No Retreat for the Heavy Weight of this World


Last week my baby sister lost her second baby. Baby hadn’t even formed tiny fingers and toes but had wrapped itself firmly in all our hearts.

I have a friend with a mother back in the hospital fighting all sorts of pain and fear, and another who helped bury a step-parent only last week. My doctor lost his father earlier this summer, and our friends who left for seminary and came back home put their daughter through a second neurosurgery.

I sit in Chic-fil-A with a woman who’s stronger than me but her hands tremble with fear and genetics and today she’ll take another of her children to another specialist for another diagnosis.

And the Atlantic is churning with a battering storm that’s streaking straight for one of my soul sisters–and Lord help everyone else in Matthew’s path and wake.

Sunday night I strode away from the world I spent two months creating.

Striking a play is a kind of therapy. Though that particular story with that particular cast and that particular blend will never be told again, the reclamation of evenings and days and slow is worth the hour it takes for twenty people to remove a small town from a small town stage.

I directed Welcome to Mitford, which for all its choppiness as an adaptation, was a soul-stirring story about the simple life and the value of roses and poetry and familiar friends and love. There’s a reason Jan Karon sold all those books. Mitford is the kind of safe haven we all want to crawl inside time and again and just let this heaving, huffing scary big world pass on by.

But nothing lasts forever. “And thanks be to God who daily loads us with blessings.”

I’m studying forgiveness with some friends. A simple Bible study of scripture and application, and this week the words resonate with the only power we have over all despair and death.


The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain… 1 Corinthians 15:56-58

The victory has already been recorded. No matter what the day brings. Mine has crushed lately under lost keys and little time and lowest common denominators–and all of that is minuscule by comparison.

But there is no comparison.

This worlds is full of trouble–but it is also full of those who go to their knees and fold their hands. Full of those who board their homes and those of their neighbors and wait out a storm–or fight it head on with scalpels and reassurances that next time will be better.

This world is too heavy right now and there’s no Mitford for us to all retreat into and pretend the rest doesn’t exist.

But we don’t need a place to go when we have people willing to take us in.


Tell me about what’s weighing heavy on you today. For me, the words always help lighten the load. Perhaps for you as well?

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