There is a place I often stop to pray (and catch my breath) during my ravine runs, it’s just a ways into the woods at the top of the stairs just west of Connors Road. Earlier this week I needed to stop there for an uncommonly long time.
It has been a week full of tragedy for people close to me and in my work as a paramedic.
I am feeling tender and frequently close to tears this week.
Immanuel – God with us
This is how I began in prayer and tears
This is how I often begin in prayer each Christmas season
The disciple Matthew looked back to Isaiah’s phrase to take any nuance out of what was happening that first Christmas.
God has come to us.
Immanuel – God with us: the constant footing of my faith when I am tender with the tragedy around me. I cannot rationalize our tragedy, but I can begin again in faith knowing He came to us, forever sharing our experience of loss, anger, sadness, and suffering.
As I ran on from that place, not one thing had changed regarding the tragedies I had been part of and witness to. But I left (and often leave) that place of prayer in the trees knowing Him by the other names of God Isaiah uses two chapters later:
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called
Prince of Peace
Immanuel – God with us. He has come to us and never leaves. God who continues to be close to us in our tragedy, to council us, be faithful to and deserving of our trust, to father us and give us peace.