RISE

You are reading the RISE series. Read more from this series of articles.

“What are you doing,” H asks me playfully as he barges through the door. We make eye contact and the smile on his face slides to a solemn slant as he pads his way slowly into the room. “Are you crying,” he asks before I can answer his first question.

Curled up under blankets in my bed, I’m watching the movie, One Day, shredded to tears. The only light in the room comes from a floor lamp in the corner and glows from the screen hanging on the wall, but he can still distinguish the pink circles lining the rims of my eyes; eyelashes clumped together wet.

And (spoiler alert) it isn’t the scene when Anne Hathaway is shockingly hit by a truck that tugs on my emotions; leaving the love of her life in grief. It’s the small exchange between a father and son that provokes the tears: A father telling his grieving son to live his life as though his wife were still living, just like he had been doing for the past ten years, after his own wife passed away.

When someone chooses courage to rise above difficult circumstances and celebrate life, it moves me to tears. And I’ve learned to listen to my tears since Emily Freeman suggested it.

“It’s not enough to say a story moved you but think about what it was about that story that moved you.  That is a hint to where you are most fully alive. They are not just tears, they are tiny messengers sent to tell you, here is where your heart beats strong, a hint to your design, your image bearing identity.”  ~Emily Freeman

And perhaps those who overcome obstacles, hang on to hope and practice patience instead of panic, they remind me of the power of redemption waving surrender to the mess. That place where my heart beats strong.

When we choose to rise above it without turning back, we recognize our smallness. And exchange it bravely, for the bigness of God.

Yesterday we donned our best, celebrated victory over empty threats and shouted Alleluia to the Risen Christ. While the carpet lays strewn with yesterday’s foil wrappers and flattened jelly beans, I’m aware it takes more than one day to absorb the reality of the resurrection; the liberating power of Jesus Christ.

Here at Living the Story we’re asking the question, “How do you rise above difficulty and celebrate the realities of your faith?” We want to know what makes you pound your fist on the table, what causes tears to stream down your face, and find the wonder of resurrection in the everyday mundane.

In April, our writers will share stories on the theme Rise, telling everyday tales of awakening to the mystery of the resurrection during Eastertide.  Together, we’ll celebrate and ponder the message of Christ through the lens of our unique perspectives. And we’ll give away one copy of Wonderstruck by Margaret Feinberg to a lucky person who comments – one every Monday in April starting today. Winners will be announced every Tuesday morning here.

Then on Monday, April 29, join us in welcoming our guest writer, Margaret Feinberg, popular Bible teacher, speaker and author, and link up your own story on the prompt Rise.  One story will be selected from the collection and featured here on Bible Dude. It could be yours.

May we look upon the light casting shadow over the field of those things which brought us grief and see the goodness of the Lord in His redemption. Psalm 34

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Editor, Living the Story Shelly Miller is smitten with the art of story to transform a life. She writes about her own struggles as a child of divorce and alcoholism, and the way God redeems it all as a clergy wife raising two teens. With experience as a full-time missionary, advocate for orphans in Rwanda and leader of women’s ministries for small and large congregations, she is passionate to help people realize calling despite circumstance. When her husband H isn’t leading a church planting movement in North America, they drive five minutes across the street to take a walk on the Atlantic, with a camera strapped to her shoulder.

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