Steel Magnolias

…sitting in prayer time this morning after reading the headlines of Ann Voskamp’s blog, and feeling challenged to pray for my sisters. I bolstered my attitude with a worship song, and landed at the cross…for several run-throughs. You can listen to “At the Cross,” by Hillsong, on youtube or What a great reminder that NOTHING can separate us from God: not our confessed failings or just who we are or the challenges encountered in the daily journey to wife, or mother, or sister in Christ, or big monsters like illness and special needs and abuse and Mistakes. Jesus tore the veil of separation. We just have to walk through…That’s what makes me think of Steel Magnolias – that the seasons of life bring so many things to walk through; and girls are good at walking and talking, holding hands.

IMG_3002With style.

But the BIG walk-through, is remembering to walk through at the foot of the cross, like some cinematographic feat of stepping right through the image, and having it close behind us protectively as we rest at the feet of the risen Jesus. It’s done – his tearing of the veil. His covering over of all the coulda-woulda-shouldas, and the things we wish had do-overs. His propitiation (sorry, I had to throw that in there) for all the things that need more than our fixin.’  It’s done, just for the asking.

Romans 3:23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood.

Because we are emotional beings, we tend to get caught up in the angst and celebration; the ‘woe is you,’ and the ‘Baby, you can do it.’ One can read about such celebrations of sisterhood, but so often, we don’t ‘feel the love’ of it until we are way into the woe…  We are separated by miles or the business of taking care of home and family, or juggling responsibilities. ( Is it the ‘Year of the Multi-tasker yet?) As one both organizationally challenged, and born serious, I feel pretty helpless to try to lighten another’s, not to mention anothers’ load(s). That is until Hillsong sings reverently, and I belt out  jubilantly, in the privacy of my home, “What can separate me now?” and realize anew that the long list of beautiful, amazing sisters – who are steppin’ out in fear and trembling just like me- are covered by the same promises:

Romans 8:29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn [fn14] among many brothers and sisters. 30 And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, [fn16] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

scriptures taken from NLT, courtesy

My hug can’t reach them today. but this whispered, triumphant prayer can. It’s so simple – holding each up,  in the middle of my weakness, in the ever-so-small palm of my hand, to an all-powerful God: God, wash over R, and A, and K, and L, and K and LD, and MP, and M and C.C.C. and K and H and K and K and FEG and J, and K and D and K ( wow, that’s alot of K’s) and M and AP and everyone I forgot today and our own four beautifuls… and all those crying inside, ‘God, send me someone please.’ God wash over them,  with your grace, and your strength, and that amazing Jesus welcome, “Come sit by me…” Wrap them up in your whisper of hope that is real; more real than any disappointment, or mind-blowing, exhaustive chore, or fear of what tomorrow holds. And the sisters will say/sway, A.M.E.N. Amen, God, to what you are doing. Amen.

jlf 2/12


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