Goodness and good things
Sometimes God shows you more of himself in the most obscure and ordinary ways.
A grieving friend who musters up the courage to put one foot in front of the other when it feels unbearbly impossible.
The new friend who just shows up *out of nowhere* and unloads heavy heartaches, seeking hope and comfort.
A faraway friend who sends a thoughtful text, reminding you of the preserved love and relationship that God has knit between you.
Other friends who shoulder burdens with you, pitching in to help where resources seem lacking.
Today, I got to sit back for a moment and watch some really special people do life and ministry together. Each in their own unique ways. All bringing some different element. Some throwing away trash after a lunch frenzy with crowds of kiddos. Others feeding babies. Another giving a shoulder to cry on for one who was in great pain. Some being silly and providing needed comic relief. All sharing in compassion and pouring out grace on those who needed it.
It wasn't anything earth-shattering, and it certainly didn't solve any problems. In fact, it likely looked extremely mundane to anyone observing. Actually, it probably looked like chaos!
But it was beautiful. And it reminded me of what I so often miss in the day-to-day movements of God -- that in those moments, he's not necessarily giving us good things. Rather, he is giving us his goodness. We're being drawn near to him as he shows us his love, compassion, and even his longsuffering, as it's imaged to us in the lives of those he's placed us alongside.
Problems aren't removed in these moments. Pain and trauma are not magically healed in an instant. We may still feel helpless and like our hope is faltering. The good things we're pining for may still seem out of reach. But when we sit/laugh/weep/dream with others, we're reminded that God is kind, faithful and good. He is our good and our goodness-giver. And, I believe his goodness is revealed more fully in community.
I know this is a counseling blog, and this may seem somewhat removed from the sleeves-rolled-up labor of counseling. But to me, these little moments -- these heart interactions where we are reminded (and reminding others) that we are known and loved -- are true soul care.
**A good reflective song to go with this post is Audrey Assad's "Good to Me." It's been a longtime favorite and I think you'll find great encouragement from it.