As I think about our friends, our home, our opportunities to show how much God loves us and how we can’t be there, I can’t help but grieve. This is a dark and sad place to be, to think of some of the atrocities in many parts of the country that have taken place since March 24th, to contemplate the fear and the confusion and the loss that so many are experiencing as I write this from the comfort of a safe place. I oftentimes find myself not wanting to hear anymore, not wanting to cry or worry or feel anything, because it is overwhelming if you take it all in and own it. I retreat to numbness, but find myself needing still to feel and so I climb out and share and yes, even laugh, with those around me. I am working my way through the sadness for my friends and for the country, and yes, working my way through the guilt of being safe from it all, and the guilt of missing things and work as well as people. I am finding strength and comfort in the powerful Word of God: He promises to be right there with me, to cover me with His wings, to lift me up out of the mire. He doesn’t promise that there will be no mire, no pain, no trouble, but He does promise to be there, and He is faithful! And then, as I think about who & what I am missing, I am given the gift of the encouragement of voices of friends on the telephone, saying, “we are okay”. Tomorrow, Roy and others may be able to cross the river and embrace our friends and encourage the work and just plain old be there. Light shining up ahead! Possibilities, plans to prosper and not to harm, plans for a hope and a future! So I’ll look forward to seeing my buddies and riding my bike and thanking the Lord for the joy of it all!