When there aren’t any words yet invented to describe all of life’s strangeness, I just call it “life-ish” -- life is life-ish.
Life isn’t predictable. It’s not stable or same. About the only thing you can count on is that one day you might cry and the next day you might laugh, sigh, gasp and scream all in the same 24 hours.
I remember meeting a woman who told me about her husband. She had waited decades to meet someone so special, but life is life-ish and after being married less than two years her husband got cancer and died.
As sad and tragic as that was, the woman wanted me to know that through it all, especially at the moment of her husband’s death, God was faithful.
She hadn’t wanted him to die in their bed and had called hospice to transfer him to a hospital bed in their living room so he could sit upright, looking out the window.
It was a Friday and he kept asking, “What time is it? What time are they coming to move me?”
Hospice came and moved him to the living room, directly under a skylight.
As the people in the room started to pray, the man’s little dogs scurried circles around the bed, their toenails scritching and scratching on the bare wood floor, making a lively, almost joyful sound.
As the man died about five minutes later, the clouds overhead parted and two beams of light shone down through the skylight.
“I know that was God,” his wife said.
The week before she told me that story, I had gone to a wedding. The pastor who married the couple said God was faithful to have brought them together.
That is true, but even if he hadn’t, would God still have been faithful?
The psalm says, “You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does” (Psalm 145:16-17).
Babies are born, people get married. Kids play soccer, collect bugs, get hooked on drugs, join the Navy. People leave shopping carts in parking lots, adopt cats from the animal shelter, eat too much, gamble away their paychecks, laugh until they cry, cry themselves to sleep.
Sometimes it rains, sometimes the sun shines -- or hides behind a dark cloud.
Life is life-ish and God is faithful throughout, even when we don’t think he is.
At church we sing about not fearing “tho’ darkness come” and that “my soul is satisfied to know (God’s) love can never fail.” We sing, “God has been faithful, he will be again.”
In the middle of life being life-ish, it’s good to be reminded of this.
When your prayers are answered beyond your expectations and words haven’t been invented to describe how you feel, God is faithful. When you don’t know which way to turn or which end is up, God is faithful.
When you’re blah or humbug, happy or ho-hum, God is faithful.
Whether you think so or not, whether it looks like it or not, whether you are faithful or not, God remains faithful.
He cannot be anything else, and sometimes it’s all we have to hold on to.
Nancy Kennedy is the author of “Move Over, Victoria — I Know the Real Secret,” “Girl on a Swing” and “Lipstick Grace.” She can be reached at 352-564-2927 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.