Let It Be

moss-gatheringSome things don’t settle in until you see it in somebody else’s eyes. Especially when they’ve known you forever and they can see the change.

I stood on a hillside graveyard in Kentucky last weekend, bare toes in deep moss, and looked sixty or so of my family in the eyes. There was no pretending – not for them, not for me. It’s been a hard couple of years. There are more fresh graves on that hillside than seems right, and that’s just the upturned soil we can see. Almost all of us are working a little harder this year to fill our raw lungs, and there aren’t many of us that aren’t asking why.

Why are there seasons like this? What’s the point of grief and cancer and heartache and aging and broken relationships and dreams that disappear like smoke in the wind?

A little bit later, with afternoon humidity rolling down our backs, we sang it out with guitars, a bass, a hand built mandolin, and harmony only genetics can produce.

Just a closer walk with Thee
Grant it Jesus is my plea
Daily walking close to Thee
Let it be dear Lord, let it be.

Let it be. All of us a little more tender this year, a little more aware of our need for the one thing.

Grief and loss are funny things. They pull away the layers until you realize how little you really need.

Not want. Want is a different thing. I wanted my mom to watch my kids grow up. I wanted to hug my grandfather again. I wanted our life and ministry in Papua New Guinea to be all we thought it would be.

But somehow, as all these things fall away, they leave a brightness in the deeper layers, a gentle song calling us through the curtain of grief to a place further in.

And slowly He draws us beyond the Want to the Need. And then He becomes not only our Need, but also our most beautiful Want.

We, having lost so much, are finding ourselves full.

Let it be dear Lord, let it be.

 “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires.” ~Psalm 37:4


  1. David Abernathy
    Sep 9, 2016

    Thank you for sharing that. I have noticed that when people share what God has been doing in their lives, or give their testimony, that they never say “And we lived happily ever after.” The day is coming when that will be true, but we haven’t gotten there yet. What I hear when people share about what God is doing in their life, or has done, is a degree of uncertainty, of incompleteness, even of tension. That he is present and that he is working is certain, but where this is going for the present is not certain. And even hindsight is not 20-20; we don’t always even understand where we have been. But we do have a sense of God’s presence in the midst of it all.

  2. Jean Davis
    Sep 10, 2016

    I am Vivian’s friend. I love your writings!

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