The life of faith is, at its most fruitful, a blend of inner and outer work. Here are voices from our blogging community questioning and explaining, lamenting and rejoicing, making connections with themselves and with the world, wondering how to pray and finding words for it.

Shannon Meacham asks:

Where is God in all this?

I don’t know. Somewhere? Nowhere? Crying in the corner crouched in the fetal position?

I admit that whenever I get asked this question I see an image like I am playing hide and seek with God. God being hidden and me walking around in the dark with a flashlight seeking. (From Too Tired to Find God)

Deborah Matthews explains where some go-to responses fall short:

What I need is someone to reach into my life, through the pain, and sit with me. Physically or virtually. A hotline can’t reach into my life. It can ask me the same questions you should ask: are you thinking about dying? Do you have a plan? Tell me what you’re thinking about. But a hotline can’t sit with me and be a person I know who says I am not alone. (From Of Semi-colons and Hotlines)

Kwame Pitts laments the way children have been torn from their mothers, right now in the U.S. and in our history:

And I wonder is the rest of humanity who witnesses our helplessness really so weak because they cannot help or perhaps they are afraid of helping, because of the comfort along the shorelines and their status; not wanting to get dirty or drenched or bruised alongside us.

And so this is the question of the “why” when people ask “But these are not your blood relatives, so why bother? Why be concerned?” (From Peace, Be Still and yet we cannot be still)

Emily Heitzman rejoices in the ELCA youth gathered this week in Houston, Texas. She has been posting all week, including about the day spent with other youth from their Synod:

The theme for Synod Day is “We Belong Together,” which seems like no coincidence, given that the National Families Belong Together day of action is June 30. So immediately after the synod day worship, our E.C.T. Youth and a few other youth invited the synod to be witnesses of God’s radical love and justice by speaking out and taking a stand against the separation of families and detainment of families at the border. We belong together! Families Belong together and in community (not in detention centers!)

(From her post about Day 5, which has many great photos and some video entries.)

Michelle Henrichs explores inner connections that lead to outer actions:

What if

How we say these two words means everything.  They are either anticipation or fear.  They are an open door or a dead-end.  They are what we may become or what we never do.  What if can be a possibility greater than we ever expected, or it can become if only.

(From If and scroll to the end of her blog post to read about her new book, Prayers for the People)

Jan Edmiston has some practical advice:

I once observed three preschoolers checking out the new kittens at the vet while their respective parents were talking about canine flu and dog meds with the doctors.  It was fascinating.

In a matter of minutes, the three children from three different families had exchanged their names and their dogs’ names.  They had each pointed out which grown up was their particular parent.  They had shared a couple of jokes.  They had discussed the possibilities of taking home one of those kittens.  And they were making arrangements to hang out together.  “Maybe you could come to my birthday party,” one little boy offered the other two.  Seriously.  They were making social plans less than ten minutes after meeting by the kitten kennel.

(Read more at Making New Friends as a Middle-Aged Adult)

Mary Beth Butler admits what I am feeling, too.

I don’t know about you, but I’m finding it hard to pray these days. I’m so angry over so much that’s happening in the world.

(To find out what she is doing about it, read How Can You Pray at a Time Like This?)

And Leslie Scoopmire offers a prayer on her first ordination anniversary.

Abide within our hearts, Blessed Jesus,
that we may sing your love into the world.

(Find the full prayer here.)

What are you finding helpful, hopeful, or relatable in our community of bloggers these days? Please leave a comment if you have a link to share. And click here to see for our full list of blogs at Feedly.

Martha Spong is a clergy coach and executive director of RevGalBlogPals. She is co-author of Denial is My Spiritual Practice (and Other Failures of Faith) with Rachel Hackenberg (Church Publishing, 2018).

RevGalBlogPals encourages you to share our blog posts via email or social media. We do not grant permission to cut-and-paste prayers and articles without a link back. For permission to use material in paper publications, please email revgalblogpals at gmail dot com.

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