And living like I believe in them
Your Sunday Retreat with Christa Mastrangelo Joyce is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Engaging in life from a more spacious way of seeing the world requires a willingness to live in the layers of life and to see the miracle in that possibility.
Recently, I finished a book called Inspired by a favorite scholar and author, Rachel Held Evans. Each time I read Rachel, who died early in 2019, I remember and say to her, you died before you were 40, much too young and unexpectedly. Thank you for filling my heart with your light even still today.
I found myself resting on this passage, “Perhaps a better question than ‘Do I believe in miracles?’ is ‘Am I acting like I do?’ Am I including people who are typically excluded? Am I feeding the hungry and caring for the sick? Am I holding the hands of the homeless and offering help to addicts? Am I working to break down religious and political barriers that marginalize ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities and people with disabilities? Am I behaving as though life is more than a meaningless, chaotic mess, that there is some order in the storm?”
And I thought of the people I’ve known who truly did and do live acting like they believe in miracles, holding on within the painful truth of all the layers of sickness, of doubt, of the world’s unpredictable insanity, and still living like the future matters, like people matter, like the earth matters.
I sat for a while then, with my heart a bit a mess, remembering Victoria, the beloved friend of so many who died in mid-November this past year. What a teacher of the layers she was to me, and of living like living really mattered. Some might have called her naïve as she worked tirelessly to get children into a better life, as she planned for the highlights of Thanksgiving, and of her December 40th birthday, and of the girls trip a cache of us women wouldn’t get to take to the beach. Naïvely planning for a future while her every present moment was tentative at best, especially in the last few months.
And yet, what other choice is there?