“Whenever there’s a mess like this, I try to look for the message in the mess,” my friend told me a few days ago. “And then I try to find the miracle in the message.”

As you might guess, my friend is a very faith-filled person. I have seen her step out in faith when most people – myself included – would be paralyzed by fear, indecision, or doubt.

The statement she made came as she was telling me about a close friend of hers who recently died of Covid-19. She was grieving the loss of her friend, of course, but she also told me she was surprised at how angry she felt.

My friend is not someone prone to anger. In fact, I’ve seen her deal many times with injustice and unfairness that made me angry to see what she was going through. Yet she handled everything – and everyone – with grace, calm, and a quiet strength that always amazes and inspires me. I’ve known her a long time, and I know it’s her faith that sustains her, that motivates her, and that guides everything she does. So I wasn’t surprised at her comment about messes, messages, and miracles. But I was struck by the eloquence and wisdom of her words. And I can relate to them.

Quite often – and a lot of this has come from my friend’s influence on me over the years – when I’m going through a particularly difficult time, I stop what I’m doing and say to myself, “Okay, what am I supposed to be learning from this? What’s the lesson here that I’m failing to grasp?” The answers don’t usually come to me like a bolt of lightning, but just asking the questions turns off the anxiety and frustration, and forces the emotional part of my mind to move aside and let the analytical part take over. It’s a shift that helps me calm down and look at the situation from a more helpful angle.

There’s no doubt that the country and the world is in a mess right now. So the question I’m reminded to ask, and the question we probably should all be asking, is: “What’s the message in this mess?” And then, we should look for the miracle in the message. I have faith there is one. That’s one of the many, many things I have learned from my friend.

August 14, 2020
©Betty Liedtke, 2020

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