• Dana L. Butler


What do I say when there aren’t words for the ache in my chest? The ache that takes away breath and speech and smile threatens to spill out down my face, careless of the fact that I’m sitting in a public coffee shop?

Friday night I sat late in my church’s auditorium with dear friends, following a prayer and worship event, while one of them poured out his heart’s cry to God — he wasn’t sure he could handle another disappointment. The next day? Grief crashed unforeseen into his home — another wave of it, as if there weren’t already more there than most people could imagine continuing to breathe through.


Life is freaking painful. It comes just like that — wave after wave.

Even writing those words feels so, so small in comparison to the realities that scroll through my mind and my soul this morning. Doesn’t touch it. Doesn’t begin to do it justice.

Highlands Ranch is enveloped in cloud this morning. Has been since I woke up. And my first thoughts upon waking paralleled those that kept me up too late last night: a small place of worship in Texas upended by terror, at the same time yesterday morning as I led my own church in coming before Jesus in worship.

And I can’t get my mind around the loss — 26 lives?! — let alone the depth of trauma to the survivors. Can’t get my mind around it, but the heaviness seems to be settling into my soul in a different way this time.

This time. So many times. The question in my heart is the one that I know resounds in the hearts of so many across our nation — what in the **** is happening to our land?

Since leading worship yesterday morning, this song hasn’t left my mind–

I will build my life upon your love; it is a firm foundation.

More than ever, nothing else is firm but Him.

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