ATLAS// burning cities.

…the valley of achor will be a place to pasture herds.
| ISAIAH 65:10

I read the prophetic words as they lift off the page & take the form of all too many faces. Friends. Family. Acquaintances. Myself. I recall times when I was there, in the sinking waters. Times like yesterday when the waters felt all too still, the air all too dry. Lungs sigh lifeless gasps in opposition to the God breaths they truly are, sustaining each moment. We feel tired, rugged, worn down. Emails from teachers sit unopened, afraid of the grades they behold, their ignorance to your empty eyes unforgiving in formed words. Bills pile, with no energy to write the checks & seal the envelopes. Rooms grow unkempt, as the lack of heart leaves clothes to soften the heel against the old wooden floor boards.

We don’t know how. A cry away, a Lord help me that can’t find voice.

This time of year does strange things, breeding sorrow & weariness we never imagined sat deep in the crevice of our souls. We can’t see the sun, & as mysterious as it is, our inability to see His physical light can cripple our ability to see the Son. To feel His presence.

So here it is, friends. Your promise. That this valley of achor, otherwise translated as valley of trouble, will be a place to pasture herds. A place to shepherd. A room for the lost to be found, the blind to see, & the hopeless to find renewal.

We have this hope.

We see despair. Unfortunately, this world is not lacking. But when God forms our new home He says He will be the light. Not a sun. His presence. Why?

Because we’ll see him with unveiled eyes, in the pureness & holiness He is. The same holiness that is within you & I.

The glory of God that will someday provide light to a whole new home. Within you now.

We have this hope.

That in the lifeless seasons, in the broken, messy, & mundane. In the grey, empty, & all too still rooms, we have a light within us that could light a whole city.

We are a city on a hilltop. Within me. Within you. Burning.

As we are called to each shepherd our own flock, we are being called to dirty our hands in the pit of sorrow. To meet messy strangers & desperate friends where they are. To open our hands, that they could see the nail pierced hands through ours.

You, my love, carry a city.

& those whom are lost, dry, & weary…
They have this hope.

So you climbed into bed at 8:55 tonight, because you couldn’t muster up the strength to hold the world up any longer. & you’re laying there, & you’re wondering how it’s all going to end. So much tragedy building up, & you’re just wondering how much longer til it all falls down. Here’s where we can cling to Paul’s words to find joy in the suffering, here’s why we can.

This’ll breed something. & you feel dry & the bitter cold is sucking the life out of you & you’re just staring at the sky begging for some sun. You can’t see past the pain. Joy, love. Seasons are temporary & joy is always obtainable & the light hasn’t died out within you. You’re burning bright, baby. Keep going. Keep digging.

It’s your turn, love. Break the silence. Spill your guts.

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