When you’re on the edge
Isn’t it strange how the beautiful and the terrible can be so intimately intertwined?
A person can be so hopeless, so full of despair and anguish that jumping from a bridge seems like the best option. Yet a group of strangers decide, no, not today. Today we will hold onto you. Today we will wrap ropes and bag straps and our arms around you and hold on tight until you are safe.
Haven’t we all felt like we’re on the edge at some point? Life can hand us such a heavy load. Disappointment and grief. Heartache and loss. The tragic fate of a nation and the blood and tears of a city. Children who will grow up motherless and Mothers who lose babies over the side of a boat. Each thing another brick to add to the pile we are already carrying. The weight of it threatening to tip us over.
Yet in the midst of it all, we keep finding cords to wrap around each other. We make phone calls and send messages. We make time and give space. We ask sincerely, listen carefully, pray wisely. We bring flowers, ice cream, wine, trashy magazines. We say no, not today. Today is not your day to fall off the edge. You are not alone. I’m hanging out with you and holding onto you. I’m staying here until you feel safe again, even if it takes a long time.
These are the places we find Jesus. In the beautiful-terrible. In the middle of all the mess and chaos, arms round our neck, looking us in the eye, wrapping kindness around us. And those days we can’t seem to find him? Perhaps he’s the one down on his knees, in the dirt and the ashes, holding us tight so we don’t fall.