It was a dark and stormy night.


I’m not sure how much he heard.

I know that his father and I were talking at dinner, for once completely lost in adult conversation and leaving the children to decipher appropriate portions and peace for themselves. I know that this never happens… this us being able to talk without something spilling or someone having a pint-sized crisis.  I know that I was fired up.

I was grasping for the logic that Curt relentlessly offers, but there was none this night. We found ourselves surrounded by friends and family in dire straights: deadly illness, crippling spirituality, lack of community, lack of counsel, lack of direction. Where is etiquette manual for being surrounded by marriages falling apart? How do you pray for a family who has lost a child? Is there a right way to love a liar?

And the big question that night… the house of pain: where was the CHURCH? The church whose doors are always open? The church not at conferences but at home behind heavy, solid doors and firm foundations? The pastors who minister to those in need not those in want? The body that stands rooted in faith and united in hope? The choir that sings from above and behind, not in front and under lights? If help cannot be found in the church, my God, where are we supposed to go?

What do you do when the Temple has turned to rubble and the city is deserted? Where are the wise men? Where are the women willing to spill their perfume? Is there no one who can stay awake for simply one hour?  We have left Christ standing alone on the water, yet we are surprised to be drowning.

Near angry tears, I whispered, “It’s broken. It’s a mess and it’s broken.”

I scraped my plate and refilled my glass.


“Is broke, Mom?” a little voice piped in.

I looked up, surprised to find myself still in a home and surrounded by children.


“What’s that, Bud?”

“Ours church is broken?”


“Us needa fix it, Mom.”

“Yeah, Bud?”

“I can help. I can help you fix it.”


If I hadn’t been choked by tears, if I hadn’t been swept off my feet, if I didn’t so whole-heartedly believe him, I would have told him a ladder would not do the trick. That it’s not the 4-year-old kind of broken. That it’s deeper than saying you’re sorry.


Thank goodness I had no words.

Yes. You, Child, you must help.


We’ve made such a mess. Let the children come.

I’m not sure how much he heard.

But it was enough.


About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

3 responses to “It was a dark and stormy night.

  • Kate

    Thank you again Katie. I am also struggling much with church right now-we have those fired up conversations around the dinner table way too often right now, and I am weary. Weary of carrying on. Thank goodness for children! And a God who can take our small efforts and multiply them for His purposes. Trying to remember the brokenness forces me to rely only on God, who takes our broken messes and brings beauty. Carry on dear friend!

  • texasnorth

    Yes. Exactly, friend. Thank goodness for pint-sized perspective!

  • Kim Fernando

    Katie, this seriously brought tears to my eyes. Wow.

    Heshan and I have had these conversations, too. It’s so hard to love something so much and yet to see all the ugliness and fault and lack in it and to wonder why we can lift up our hands and praise God but following Him is so dang hard in community. We forget what it’s like to have childlike faith.

    Love this so much it’s not even funny.

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