Happy Friday, PDX!
The young woman didn't feel up to it. After a day at the oncology research clinic she just wanted to veg. She does intake with patients who have come to offer themselves for experimental treatments. They are dying of cancer that hasn't responded to approved treatments. So they have come to be living laboratories so that perahps other people might one day be made well.
But after forcing herself out the door she came to the church home community gathering to be in the company of friends who could hear her and care for her, pray together.
She wants to eventually work in the salvage business. And, I hope, in the prevention business. She wants to salvage human beings from the scrap heap of the international sex trade.
I looked at her across the room. Such radiant skin, even when her inner candle was buring dim. She's not a parent yet. She's not even married. She hasn't yet gone into the work she plans to prepare for. So much heartache and heartbreak await her, as well as brief but intense joy from unexpected places. So much intense living awaits.
She could not begin to write the script of the next three decades of her life. No one can. But I could look back through the past three decades of my life and offer a comment.
"You are in the right place," I said. "This job you have now is preparing you to survive what lies ahead. God is giving you what you need. Tenderizer to make your heart soft enough to bend and bend again without breaking. And enough scar tissue to be tough enough to hold all the battered pieces of it together."
Sunday is Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week. Read Matthew 26-27. Listen to the human drama taking place, all the painful reality of it. And see the hand of God at work inflicting both tenderizer and scar tissue on himself.
For us. Since no one else could.