Quote harvesting: Glorious Weakness

I have no idea how Alia Joy’s Glorious Weakness came into my life. Twitter was involved, I think. Since I’m not sure of the specifics, let’s just credit the Holy Spirit and get on to the good stuff: Alia’s words.

“No one wants to need. No one wants to be found lacking. No one wants a ministry of weakness.”

“To believe that the experiences we have are valid, that the feelings and expressions of them are true and real and worthy of being listened to, is one of the greatest mercies we offer each other.”

“We rarely develop stamina in our faith when there are other routes available, as avoiding complete depended has been our default since Eden.” 

“We learn how to settle. We learn how to accept our weakness but never ask for God’s strength. How to accept our poverty without expecting provision. We learn to live with the ache of never enough. We pray to God as if we don’t know him at all, we live with bastardly longing—because a true child would ask. A true child would crawl right up into God’s lap and ask for a better story.”

“If this grace a true, a weary world rejoices because we have been claimed by a devastating love. But sometimes I’d rather have effortless love. I want an affinity group, not a community, not a body, not a church—only a Savior for myself, not a King of a vast and scandalous kingdom. My husband’s cousin Peter, who is a pastor says, ‘It’s not community until someone you don’t like shows up.’ Truer words were never spoken.”

“I didn’t know then that sorrow is sacramental. Sorrow is sacred. Suffering is not an indictment against God; it can be the single space we identify most deeply with Christ, who knows it best.”

“Jesus paid attention. Jesus wept. Jesus broke bread and laughed with his friends and healed the sick. He tucked himself away to rest and pray. He want to parties and took naps. He walked this earth in a body that easily be broken. He said come unto me. And in so doing, he royally ticked off a lot of people who despised how common he made grace. But Jesus knew how to read the room. When we look at Scripture, we see Jesus offered comfort, presence, and mercy, but he also met people’s needs right where they were. He fed them and healed them and served them. He gave them water, washed their feet, and helped them fish. Jesus didn’t fear the fleshiness of our existence, our faulty or our failing. He came near, God with us. As Christ followers, we must be willing to practice the art of nearness. Of with-ness.”

“I wish I had known that sometimes this life will ache with emptiness and it’s okay not to rush to fill it. It’s okay to leave some questions on the books. It’s okay to be angry and to admit we can’t see the good of it all right now. To sit on the floor in my baby’s room and weep over the blankets and the onesies and the car seat that would be packed back up. It’s okay to grieve the lost things you held only as the flutters of hopes and dreams. It’s still loss. How else do we make peace with the present? I wish someone had told me it was okay to relent to sadness, to doubt, to the divine ache and the catastrophe that is death. We can lie on a gurney with God and allow the sorrow and suffering its due. We let God reckon with death, and we acknowledge that things are not as they should be and we are not the only ones offended by the tragedy coming for us all. I wish someone had told it was okay to succumb to anger, to the great and formidable why? I wish I had understood that God is undaunted by my humanity.”

“Lament says you belong to me, and I belong to you and will enter in with you.”

“There are so many among us who hurt, and we may never know we’re sitting next to someone barely holding all the pieces together when we gather on a Sunday to sing rickey hymns and hear God’s Word cracked open for us. I can tell this truth because I’ve learned the ministry of honest words, of weak spaces, of holy dependence and admitting our deep hunger. This is not a litany of complaints, this a lament of love. And sometimes, when honesty is our invitation, we find that those silent ones, the ones among us we never knew were hurting, the hungry ones who can no longer hear their Savior’s psalm , they come and knock at our door. We pull out a chair and welcome them to the feast.”

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