My father once said that “life is a dramatic mixture of brokenness and grace.” This is not a despairing comment; it is recognition of our God-given humanness, our vulnerability, and an ever-present gracious God. We meet the unexpected with terror on occasion because we feel it must be resolved, or fixed, or erased. The truth is that we live most of our lives in the tension of the in-between.
I am a child of a powerful and enduring, gracious God who offers refuge under the shadow of her wings. I may be living in the shadows, with my imperfections, within the tension of the unexpected drama of life. Because I am a child of God, I am called in my humanness to face a world of continuing contrasts: terror and tenderness; justice and mercy; mourning and celebrating; shadows and illumination.
Acknowledging the pain of discouragement paradoxically frees us to soak up the moments of illumination and wonder. We can trust that we are creatures of great sadness and deep gladness. Being claimed in baptism means we are daily bathed in God’s grace.
This message is adapted from “Living with Cry and Confidence” written by Ione Agrimson Hanson in the November 2004 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather) magazine.