Battles, May 2020

There is nothing like the shocking surprise of taking a plastic dinosaur to the skull while you’re playing with your toddler. Dino Doctor. That’s the ironic given name of the pink velociraptor toy introduced to my noggin, curtesy our two year-old.

Painful as playing with toy dinosaurs can be, I wish life was more like the dino battles I have with my kid. The plastic toys take turns winning battles against each other, and get back up immediately after defeat. Their damage is pretend, impermanent, and it lasts no longer than the present moment.

Not so with the rest of life. Our world is broken. This season has been wrought by sickness, political deceit, information warfare, and more journalistic fear mongering than I know I’ve ever had to deal with.

Columbus, OH

On top of all those things that have become part of our “new normal,” it’s been disturbing to watch so much pain unfold this week in Minneapolis, Columbus, and in other major cities around the country. Murder is a horrid crime. Violence and destruction in any form, but especially against our own neighbors, is a devastating and foolish reaction. Both are condemnable, the embodiment of total depravity. No one should ever have to lose a family member to a violent crime, and neither peaceful protestors, nor those on the receiving end of rioters’ destruction should have to experience the pain and hurt they’re going through.

I can’t comprehend the pain many are feeling, but I’m praying for all the families that have been and will be affected, for the hearts of those who are in agony, and for tangible forward progress that leaves our society a better place where everyone is treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.

Stay safe, fam. Treat each other with the love you want to see embodied in our children, and in the rest of society. God bless.

– Zach

On The Contrary, Bless

It’s late.

I’m writing this to you as much as I’m writing it to myself.

This chapter isn’t forever. We will experience some kind of normalcy again, hopefully with lowered, sustainable levels of stress.

I was working on a long post about the types of stress and anxiety I’m feeling, and how it can be a living hell when all of the hard things in life seem to come to a head at the same time (and when busy seasons become the “new normal” rather than just a season) … but it didn’t seem helpful in a time when everyone’s already feeling different levels of isolation and/or overwhelm.

So I’ll save my rant for now, and offer you this encouragement instead:

8 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9 Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.

10 For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; 11 let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

1 Peter 3:8-12 ESV

In short, Love one another well. Be truthful with each other. Seek to establish peace and not division. God sees you; he hears your prayers.

Hang in there. Y’all have my prayers, and we covet yours.

– Zach