When I walked into the kitchen of our lovely cabin in Colorado, Keane greeted me with shiny eyes. “Baruch haShem!” he said.
I almost did a double take. What did my two-year-old just say?
Will grinned at me from his position at the coffee maker, and I knew he was the guilty one. Trust my clever husband to do something like that. He loves messing with words and languages. “Baruch haShem” means “bless the Name” in Hebrew.
Truly, it wasn’t hard to bless God while vacationing in Colorado at the cabin of our dear friends; going on long hikes in the mountains, playing with the children, and grilling yummy food! I especially felt God’s closeness during our long forays into nature. Rarely do I feel so near to God as I do when I am immersed in the beautiful world He created.
The incident lingered in the back of my mind over the next days, especially because Keane liked to say those words of blessing at random moments. “Baruch haShem!” His face sparkled and his little white teeth gleamed. I couldn’t help but laugh at my dear, funny little boy.
But then came days when I did not find it so easy to remember God’s goodness. Back at home, away from the beauty of the Colorado mountains, I felt the cares of the world closing in on my heart. Why does a perfectly good autumn season have to be spoiled with an election involving wicked people? Even more disheartening, why do Christians have to rationalize the sinful behavior of either of the candidates? Why does Halloween have to exist, decorated with dead bodies, witches, and spiders? Why do bad men in the church get away with abusing women and children? Why do I make mistakes and hurt people’s feelings without trying? Why can’t I be a better mother to my precious children? A better wife to my precious husband?
I’m so sick of the election frenzy, and hearing Christians excuse sinfulness. I’m sick of the Halloween craze–the food made to look like body parts and the skeletons scattered over people’s yards. I’m sick of an impotent church winking at abusers and refusing to dig out the truth. I’m sick of my own failures, my own pet sins, the struggle of living in this messed-up world.
One night I was stewing over all the wrong in the world and feeling somehow contaminated by it all. But then I put my little boy to bed and brushed aside the dark thoughts for a moment.
As I tucked Keane into his bed, we went through our bedtime routines, some of them silly. First I read him Mr Brown Can Moo and we made animal sounds together. Keane wanted to give me a fish kiss. Then he wanted to touch noses. Then he said, “kiss my hand!” And, “kiss my nose!” We giggled together and I thought again of those words: bless God.
Not everything in the world is bad, and we have much to bless God for. I have a cute two-year-old I get to put to bed every night. God blessed me with a delightful family. God blessed me with many good friends. God blessed me with His provision. God blessed me with hope in Jesus. God blessed my town with Christians who love like Jesus.
I don’t have to let my fall season be ruined by the election and Halloween and abusive men. I can hardly ignore those things, I don’t think I even should. But overarching the world’s brokenness is God’s goodness, which manifests in many ways if I have the eyes to see it. My autumn season can be characterized by this: thanksgiving. Bless the Name. Bless Jehovah. Baruch haShem.