Questions week: The Fray

Do you walk above the fray?

This past Sunday when preaching on the Beatitudes, our pastor mentioned that God lifts us above the fray of life, that things can be tough, but God shelters us from it.

Personally, this has not been my experience.

Yes, God helps in times of need. He has never abandoned nor forsaken me. And he never will. But I have never been lifted above the fray. I have always been very much in it. I have felt every blow, every hurt, and every pain. However, God has been with me through all this, and He has sustained me and encouraged me and healed me (though the scars remain.) This isn't to say that I will always be in the fray or that God never lifts us above it. I am merely conveying my personal experience up to this point.

A few posts back, I referred to a Denise Levertov poem. I love her poetry because she speaks with a frankness about human suffering and God's comfort. Here are a few lines from her poem "Suspended."

I had grasped
God’s garment in the void
but my hand slipped
on the rich silk of it

I have not plummeted

I love this quote because sometimes, God doesn't lift us above the fray, but he doesn't let us plummet, either. We are suspended by His grace, whether we feel His embrace or not. Even if we cannot grasp His cloak in the crowd or understand the richness of it, He is there.

What has your experience been when suffering? Did God lift you above the fray? Did He let you experience it, but also suspended you and kept you afloat by His grace? Is "How to Save a Life" as stuck in your head as it is in mine right now?