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Manna & Muck

I woke up thinking about manna. 

It was early and my mind wasn’t alert yet and I was trying to remember what Scripture said about it. Bread of angels, food for the Israelites, heavenly bread. Trying to remember the meaning of the word. Searching sleepily through the files of my mind. “What is it?” Oh, funny, manna means “what is it.” Why I was awakened with this word?

Time to start the day. Warm cup in hand, laptop open. Scrolling a bit to catch up with who’s doing what. Then I see a challenge from my cousin to take 5 minuted to read this blog. Not ready to "read” this early in the morning so I scroll past, but then something pulls me back.


Nightbirde. her story is raw and grace-filled, broken and power-full. She’s walked it. She’s walked the torturous path that leads to the sacred places. She knows Him like many do not. Because she needed to. Her faith on full display…

I take in her journey and am glad for the knowing of it. But then, then this! ” Every morning, He sent them mercy-bread from heaven. I look hard for the answers to the prayers that I didn’t pray. I look for the mercy-bread that He promised to bake fresh for me each morning. The Israelites called it manna, which means “what is it?” 

Oh, Oh…. My heart quickens, there are no coincidences in this life! And I wonder what is that God is trying to tell me.

“That’s the same question I’m asking—again, and again. There’s mercy here somewhere—but what is it? What is it? What is it?”

She challenges, “If you can’t see Him, look lower, God is on the bathroom floor.” Wow! Inspirational, authentic, power-filled! I look for her name, but she doesn’t list it on her blog. (Kudos!) 


Filled with encouragement, I go back to mindless scrolling. A few swipes further down a friend has posted a video of a gal on America’s Got Talent. Simon had given her a golden buzzer so she must be great, but the rest of the house is still asleep so I hesitated playing it. But something, or rather, someone, enticed me to watch. 


Jane Marczewski shares only minimally about her life, but somehow I know she is the same gal that wrote the blog I’d just read. Her original song, “It’s OK”  was hauntingly beautiful. Powerful in its simple authenticity. Wow! Just Wow! Her smile shines even brighter than the darkness that threatens to consume her. I want to smile like that! 


I have to go back to her blog and know it again. See it afresh. Her words holding even greater weight because of the joy that exudes from the very core of her being. And as I digest the words my perspective shifts. 


It really is all about perspective isn’t it?  

I think I’ve been looking at my life like it’s a broken watch. Gazing through the magnifying glass at all the shattered and tattered parts. Doubting. Unable to see how God could ever be glorified in it.  Like Jane, I’ve been wondering what the suffering is all about. Lord, what is it? What is it for?


But what if I too, choose to believe that God is on the bathroom floor of my life. I like the imagery of her words. They portray how I feel about my life at times. Base, vulgar. Because my eyes get stuck. Stuck on the things I can’t control, stuck on circumstance, and I feel defined and defeated by them and I hate that. I want to be more than the sum and subject of my experiences. I want to be known for joy, no matter what’s in my life. 

I've had a picture in my head for as long as I can remember of an old weathered and worn woman sitting in a rocking chair on her front porch. Peace-filled smile on her face, wisdom from having been in the sacred places shining in her eyes, just waiting for a weary traveller to come sit a spell. Rocking together in the shade, she listens to their stories. 

And then their hand cupped in hers and with the most southern drawl you can muster, she says, "Sweet honey child, everything is going to be ok." Patting their hand as they wipe the tears from their eyes and smile. 

It's me. Or rather, who I yearn to be. Who I was made to be...


So. What if I dare to bend low. Kneel, no, lay down in the muck of it. Oh, it feels like admitting defeat. But trying to fix it doesn’t help. Running doesn’t help. Certainly, faking it till you make it doesn’t work.

That old Bounty paper towel commercial comes to mind, “Life’s messy, clean it up.” I think I’ve been unknowingly living by this mantra my whole life. Feeling I had to either clean it up or succumb to it. But who knew there was a third choice? A better choice.


Live it. 

And as I type the words it hits me…  This is an answer to the prayer I finally dared to pray out loud yesterday. Finally took my pent up, jacked up feelings to God and asked Him to help me to see different, be different. Asked for emotional healing so that I could be a better version of who He made me to be. Oh, Oh, Oh… And a thousand weights begin to fall away…

God is in the muck of my life, so why am I so afraid of it? He beckons me come. Come enter in and embrace Him there. Tears... Gratitude... Isn't that just His way? Counter to everything we know. This feels like a trust fall. And He is trust worthy so I fall low...

And He does what only He can do. He heals. He restores. he renews.  


He knits moments and stories and lives together. He purposes them for our good. Before the foundation of the world He answered my yet spoken prayer. (Yes, that’s theologically accurate. Insert smiley face here.) In His great mercy, grace and love he orchestrated events that would join journeys, bring healing, bring Him glory. Yes, our broken, messed up, jacked up lives can bring Him glory if we let Him have His way.


He woke me early this morning with manna. Little did I know what He had in store. In His tender love He came low and communed with me. He met me right where He knew I would be, but he didn't leave me there…


Lord, “what is it?” 

“It is Me.”

“Life’s messy, but God will meet you in the muck" 


…who fed you in the wilderness with manna that your fathers did not know, that he might humble you and test you, to do you good in the end. [Deu 8:16 ESV]


"You can't wait until life isn't hard anymore before you decide to be happy." - Jane   It's ok



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