Let’s Not Waste Our Vapor On Safety

Coffee with Jesus-2

It’s easy to reduce people to walking trees.

But she’s not just a mean girl who spreads nasty sexual rumors about others.

She’s a maladapted splintered soul who was molested by her uncle at the age of four.

He’s not just a hopeless stoner who skips school to smoke and fight club with his buddies.

He’s a directionless fatherless son trying to take care of a mother struggling with meth addiction.

I recently read about a morbid scandal in California that included explicit sexual acts. At a Lutheran preschool. Between four-year olds. My heart hemorrhaged at that news.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to home school my sons forever and a day. Shelter them from the nasty asteroids of the world and demons who live in children of men. We could live on the fringes of town with the doomsday preppers, cursing the darkness while drinking my pet goat’s milk and storing up an arsenal of Walking Dead level weaponry. Safe from the stains of fellow humanity.

But it’s hard to reach people with your back turned to them.

It’s easier to cry “anathema” from a proud hill than enter uncomfortably into the valley that’s cursed. Only armed with the counter intuitive swords of intercessory prayer, sacrificial love, and words of peace.

The world’s default is darkness. And we have the only illumination that will quell it.

God never called us to safety. He called us to salt and light living, but not safety. Even in a sanitized bubble existence, germs and cancer can reach us there. Old age will reach us there. The question then is not how or when we die, but what we die for.

We’re all given a fleeting vapor to work with.

I’ll do my God-given best to protect my sons from the wiles of the world; but they’ll have to jump from the nest soon enough. Wherever they land I pray they will each take ownership of their own cross. That they will work out the implications of being in, but not of, a world that is both lethal and beautiful. Perilous and precious. That it would be done with hard thinking and risky living.

In the process maybe they’ll learn how to live well and die well. The hardest part is the simplicity of “just living.”

It’s a process their daddy hasn’t quite figured out yet.

And I pray they grow to see all people as precious souls not stone facades. Bruised, neglected, twisted, torn, souls. That they’d be better than their daddy in that regard. That they’d see their overwhelming need to receive and grant this indiscriminate grace.

A living grace found in one person:

Jesus. Only Jesus. Just Jesus.

Bryan Daniels


Author: Bryan Daniels

I am a follower of Jesus, a husband to Jessica, and a father of three boys: Josiah, Gideon and Judah. I teach high school math as a job, read reformed theology as a hobby, and write this blog just for kicks. With the rest of my time I coach football and track.

11 thoughts on “Let’s Not Waste Our Vapor On Safety”

  1. I wish I could say I couldn’t believe this, but after a couple of years managing an apartment complex where latchkey kids wandered the parking lots begging for connection, any connection, and I had Child Protective Services on speed dial, all I can do is wipe away a tear.

  2. my soul aches for those children. But what it really aches for are all those damaged and hurting people, acting out of pain and fear because they don’t know any better. You are so right, we, who are called by his name, need to leave the safety of our lofty places and go into the darkness of the valley of the shadow, JUST AS HE DID. I pray we get better at it, the world, and more importantly God, are counting on us.

  3. Hi Bryan: this blog stayed with me through the day, and then when I engaged today’s task in the Lenten Project I am undertaking it just sang through with those same themes. For that reason I wrote about how you moved me, and linked back to this blog. What you said needs to be read by so many. Peace to you, and thanks for the insights.

  4. A good one Bryan. Even with adult kids you want to protect them – and can’t. Your best gift to them is showing a living relationship with God – warts and all so your children see that God is real and that you struggle with him and love him, cry with him and laugh with. That will stay with them forever – and that relationship with God will be their ultimate protection. God bless, brother.

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