I want you to know that I’ve been praying for you today.
I’ve noticed November sometimes gets you down. Which is rather understandable, considering the darkness, coldness and aimlessness that creeps into this corner of the calendar. I know you’re resilient and you’re not going to make a big deal about it, but I want you to know that I’m concerned about you. How you feel today matters to me. And I’m not just saying it … I actually really care about how you’re doing.
I wonder what November used to feel like, before we started worshiping the dollar with such a concerted effort. November used to feel like something. Now it’s a transition, a postscript for the fall, a prelude for the coming winter. Yep, it’s as if Thanksgiving is a one-day placeholder to remind us that Black Friday is coming. It’s Trick-or-Treat and Deck the Halls in one hurried breath. And we do our best to make the best of less than ideal conditions. But sometimes … it just gets to be too much.
That’s why I’ve been praying for you today. I know, you’re not as negative as I am, and you do a better job of looking at the bright side of things. But I know it gets to you. This path we’ve chosen is costly. It costs us time. We spend hours of our lives working for money that we trade in for things … things that rust, corrode and fade away. It’s not all shallow and meaningless, but so much of it is temporary and fleeting. Standing in Walmart, choosing between two similarly priced toys that will break and be discarded within the year.
And then there is the important stuff. The stuff that isn’t stuff at all. The relationships entrusted to our care. The people we love and the people we’re meant to love. I know you try really hard to connect and to make time for the relationships that matter. But it’s incredibly difficult.
The kids grow up so quickly, their world is forever expanding as they pursue their God-given wonderment. And you try your best to be part of it. You give room for their wings to expand, but you stay close enough to help them navigate their first flights. Close enough to soothe, encourage and challenge. Close enough to see that they are becoming their own person … that someday they will need you in a different way.
I’ve been praying for the love in your life. Your parents, your family, your dearest sweetheart, your yearning heart to be loved and accepted. I know you do your best to love those entrusted to your care. Even so, relationships can sometimes be lonely affairs. I know sometimes you give more than you receive. I know sometimes your best efforts don’t translate well. What you mean to be love turns into another fight or lonely evening. I know you sometimes find yourself late at night, trying to make sense of what it means to love and be loved. I’ve been praying for you, that when you find yourself in these lonely fields, these angry fields, these anxiety ridden fields, you would know you are not alone. No only are you not alone, you are dearly loved.
I know my words are probably not enough. You just think I’m trying to make you feel better. Frankly, you’d be right. I am trying to make you feel better, because you’re worth it. I know I talk a lot about my faith and my God. I know that gets tiring to you sometimes. I can see it in your eyes. The last thing in the world I need right now is another sermon. But I can’t help it. I’m a preacher, so I tend to be a bit preachy.
Even so, I need you to know that I’m writing this with the best of intentions. Lately, I’ve been praying for you. Lately, I’ve been crying for you. I’ve been trying to find a genuine way to let you know how much you are loved and how much I genuinely desire God’s best for your life.
I hope this doesn’t all sound too weird. But I’m trusting you’re getting my heart in all of this. I’m trusting that God will help you where I cannot write the right words or do the right thing. For what it’s worth, I wanted to make this column about you. Because you are worth it, my friend. The angels rejoice when you smile. The heavens rejoice when you embrace the goodness and grace of the day. And to be honest, I gain great meaning in letting you know that you are dearly loved by God.
Oh yeah, one more thing … go out and take an aimless walk among a bit of nature. Embrace this cold, dark, beautiful November. Pray for me and I’ll pray for you.
“Live from Seattle with Doug Bursch” can be heard 4-6 p.m. weekdays on KGNW 820 AM. Doug Bursch also pastors Evergreen Foursquare Church. Evergreen meets at 10 a.m. Sundays at 2407 M St. SE next to Pioneer Elementary School. He can be reached at www.fairlyspiritual.org or firstname.lastname@example.org.