>I planned on getting so much accomplished!

I planned on finishing the garage. And it’s supposed to rain for days.

We planned on saving for a “new to us” car and were hoping to buy one in December or January. Instead, I totaled the family car and we are waiting for a check from Hub’s retirement. Definitely not the way we wanted to do it, but we are thankful that we can at least do something.

I planned on picking up our oldest daughter from my parents’ house last weekend, on Mothers Day. Hub’s work car decided to die by the side of the road and was out of commission for 6 days.

We planned on Hubs painting the front living room, dining room and hallway. We didn’t properly plan for the preparation of the walls, but he got a lot done and we were hoping he could get the walls painted on Saturday. But the truck he was driving, a loaner from his dad, quit and he was tied up with that for a good part of the day.

I’m trying not to be, but have felt really overwhelmed the past couple of days. The house is torn upside down, with things being moved or covered with plastic to accommodate the painting I just mentioned. I don’t like it when my house is torn upside down. It’s chaos and I hate it. I’m praying that Jesus gives me grace and the tools to not get completely blown over with the chaos, the being overwhelmed. I’m praying that somehow, we get it all done. I’m really praying for provision. For peace.

Weird segue, but stay with me…

The past few weeks, I’ve been reading lots of Christian moms/wives blogs and it seems the topic du jour (du moins?) is being a “good” wife. Sorry… I’m being sarcastic, and I know I shouldn’t be. I’ve been reading a lot about how we should forgive (which we should; I’m not saying we shouldn’t). I’ve read how we can be “hot” for our husbands (seriously? Yeah, this was discussed on one blog.) I’ve read about how hard we should work to love our husbands and our inlaws and the people who look at us cock-eyed. And I agree. We should do all those things. The Bible tells us how we should love others as ourselves and if we are slapped, we should turn the other cheek. I know that.

But what happens when life happens?

What do we do then?

What happens when people in church leadership abuse innocent children?

What happens when a drunk hits a car loaded with a van full of kids going to church camp?

What happens when our parent/spouse/child/self is diagnosed with a terminal disease?

What then?

If what I’m about to say sounds un-Christian or cynical or mean, I don’t mean to be any of those things. I’m asking real questions about real situations that need real answers.

Is it right to tell someone who has been in situations like those mentioned above to “read and pray” and that Jesus will make it all right?

Why aren’t we willing to get down in the trenches and get dirty with the people who are down there, helping them to climb out? Why don’t we love on them? Why don’t we want to get dirty, too? If all we’re going to do is take our pretty selves to church and raise our manicured hands in the air as we sing without ever thinking of getting dirty and perhaps chipping one of those nails, what good are we? (Think Todd Agnew’s “My Jesus”)

People hurt. People suffer. The Bible never promises us that we won’t. (Natalie Grant’s song “Held” beautifully talks about this.) What astonishes me is people’s reactions to their hurting friends or family when hard times come. Even Job dealt with friends who told him to curse God and die. It seems you get one extreme or the other: friends who tell you to read and pray or friends who tell you to curse God and die.

My point is, when people have been through hell and back, we shouldn’t kick them while they’re down and tell them how spiritual they’re supposed to be. Healing can be a process. Healing can be immediate. God chooses how we heal. Some of us can get through the hard stuff unscathed. Some of us need more help.

How about this? How about we let God take care of our hearts. How about us letting God handle how and when we forgive?

Can we just love on people when they’re hurting when life…. happens?