I can’t live in certainty everyday. Vowed relationships implode, careers crater, and fussy families fray. Climates crack, butterflies are banished, and pandemics plunder our caged souls.

As a child, I gloried in threading charming daisy chains. As a teenager, I was mocked for idealism. As a mother, I craved nesting, but had to move constantly. As an “academic,” I asked, “why?” As a grandmother, my heart explodes with love.

I can live in occasional certainty. The tiny, black poppy seeds, aging in their dusty spent pods will rattle out with the cold wind, scatter their goodness, and bloom red, ruffled, and vigorous again.

I can live in occasional certainty, moving my fingers full of memory around and around a homemade pie crust, crimping my mom’s love into each decadent bite. Her affirming voice whispers with certainty in my ear, “Sheila, you make the pies this year, and from now on….”

I can live in occasional certainty, especially when a granddaughter trusts me with her vulnerable heart. I enhale her confidence in me, and exhale acceptance. “I see you, I hear you, I feel you, I love you.”

I can live in occasional certainty within my faith community. We ask tough questions and discover growth. We dissect scripture, certain of its enduring instruction. “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

I am certain that when I live in my vulnerabilities, I am closer to God’s loving truth than when I structure my days imprisoned by seemingly safe certainties.


Of what or whom are you sure?

For I am certain that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, not things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38

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