I hope you are well. I wrote last week about I had the best summer of my entire life. Well, summer is over. And I’ve had a week of frustrations and disappointments to kick off this next season. Thankfully all my boys are well. I am trusting they will have an excellent school year — that is certainly my prayer. And Will and I had the kind of laugh fest on Wednesday night that results in a sore face. Mostly it was over the most hilarious voicemail I’ve ever received. We played it over and over again. Nate and Sam thought it was funny too, but their interest waned by the fifth or sixth playing. Not us, I don’t even know how many times we listened to it and died laughing all over again. I think our shared ability to get serious mileage out small tidbits is a theme in our marriage, and a saving grace.
It seems like I can be mostly optimistic that the tide is going to turn on the direction of world, but then other times that naive optimism leaves me vulnerable to appalling realities. This week I feel like I’m in some kind of mental boxing match and I can’t get my paws up to protect myself. Plus, lots of dreary weather. That never helps.
But I’ve been thinking about how the Bible never asks us to pretend. The Psalmist pours out sorrows and doubts and desperate pleas with the most raw emotion. There’s no pretending.
When Paul discusses the meat eaters and the veggies-only people in Romans 14, he doesn’t say “Meat eaters, when you are with the vegetarians, pretend you are a vegetarian too.” No, we can accommodate others by forgoing things. Don’t eat steak in front of a vegetarian who’s offended by it. But there’s no need to lie and say you never eat steak. The Bible never recommends pretending; in fact, it condemns it. Ephesians 4:25 says, “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.”
Sometimes I tell my sons to look at the world through different lenses or questions. God is a God of order, I tell them – Where do you see disorder? God has not given us a spirit of fear – Where do you see fear manifested in our world? God is a God of truth – Where do you see the world asking you to pretend something is true? Sadly, these lenses clarify a great deal about our world today. So much disorder. So much fear. So much pretending. It wears me out.
You are probably worn out too. Praise God that His mercies are new every morning.