My List

For the past two weeks I have had blogger’s block. No amount of fiber in my diet can cure this blockage. It’s happened before so I have learned to not force things. When I try to force a blog, the Holy Spirit goes quiet. Kind of like my husband when I tell him it’s his turn to make dinner.

The problem isn’t that I don’t have anything I want to write about. It’s quite the opposite. My head is spinning with thoughts but they aren’t pretty. I don’t like writing about sad and depressing things.

I have decided to start reading the Bible from the beginning, just a page or two at a time. I’m currently at the story of Noah and the flood. It says in Genesis 6:5, “When the Lord saw how great was man’s wickedness on earth, and how no desire that his heart conceived was ever anything but evil, he regretted that he had made man on the earth and his heart was grieved.

This very sobering description of humanity is what a lot of my thought are about lately. The world seems to be going mad.

The other reason that it has been hard to put my thoughts into words is that they are so random. So, I have decided to share them with you in a list. My daughter gave me a journal-like book a few years ago called Listography- Your Life in Lists. It asks you things like list your proudest accomplishments, your favorite toys as a child, your crushes and the people you love the most. I found it to be a fun and easy way to take an inventory of myself. The question I came across last night was, “What would you change about the world?” That was the Metamucil for my blogger’s block. The Holy Spirit started speaking.

So here is my list of a few of the things I would like to change about the world:

  • Discrimination and racial inequity
    For a couple years now, at Firstfruits we have been focusing on trying to become more diverse. I have been blessed by the presence of two women of color on our board and in my life. Our conversations have taught me this isn’t an issue that will be resolved anytime soon. Its roots are too deep. But with the help of education and a LOT of prayer we can take baby steps that eventually can lead to healing. 
  • School shootings and other senseless acts of violence
    Last week there was a threat at a local high school just a half block from where my daughter-in-law teaches and three of our grandchildren attend school. They called a lockdown. For ten horror filled moments my daughter-in-law was huddled in the bathroom with her little flock of K3 students pretending to play hide and seek all the while bravely holding back tears for her own three little ones seemingly miles away in their respective classrooms. All was well in the end but the scars are still there. 
  • Poverty and Hunger
    Last Saturday a group of generous volunteers and donors from Firstfruits provided the children of the MacCanon Brown Homeless Sanctuary with the opportunity to have a carefree afternoon just being kids: riding their new bikes, trying out their new hula hoops and jump ropes and shooting hoops with the “big guys” from Pius High School’s varsity basketball team. My son coaches the team so he and I were on the sidelines for two straight hours in the rain as these kids played basketball. The weather didn’t dampen the Spirit. When it was time to leave, it broke my heart to see the looks on their faces. Both the little kids and the “big guys” felt something. I know I did. As MacCanon said, “This day brings smiles to children who don’t have much to smile about.” 
  • Screens and Social Media 
    Navigating the world of social media has become the main focus for parents of middle schoolers and even younger. It’s a full-time job to stay one step ahead of the latest potentially harmful misuse of social media. Screen time has become a common part of our everyday language. It figures into every child’s life just like lunch and homework. There is the real potential for our children to be exposed to things that they don’t have the maturity to deal with and can cause a lot of unnecessary confusion and anxiety. What a burden on moms and dads to keep up with it all.

I could go on but I think you get the point. I told you it wasn’t pretty. Just like God, in Genesis, my heart is grieved.

But there is hope, always hope, and I found it in the words of the song we are learning to sing in choir for Pentecost Sunday. It’s a beautiful rendition of the hymn “Surely the Presence.”

As I sat in church last night at practice, letting the words really sink in, I felt something. There was an easing of my restlessness.

And a need to write.


I hope you will take some quiet time to listen to this hymn. (Click here to listen.)

Joan Carey, Firstfruits executive director, is an author and speaker with a passion for helping women grow in their relationships with God. Her Ponder This book contains a series of modern day parables sure to get you thinking about and seeing our extraordinary God in our ordinary experiences. Joan invites you to use resources on this website for daily reflection in your journey to grow in God's loving care for you.
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