Raising Magnolias

Because it's never too late for happily ever after…

Piercing the Cloud that Brings in the Light

Emma Claire is on her way home.

Home from the city that never sleeps.

Most people seemed a little shocked that my parents would take a 5 year old to New York City and I’m thankful for their surprise because it reminds me that yes.

It’s surprising.

But not for the reasons they may think.

My mother knows the Broadway district of New York City better than I know downtown Omaha. She’s been planning this trip for 5 years (and probably more) and there’s this magical age when you’re not to young to appreciate it and not to old to be captured by it and these pictures keep coming in (blurry at best and I’m thinking my mom needs a new camera or new contacts) but you can see it.

And for Emma Claire the magical age is 5, but maybe for my parents?

It’s still magical at 60-something?

Life always looks more hopeful, brighter, merrier when seen through the eyes of a child.

A few weeks ago we were in the car and Emma Claire said to me, “Mom, you know how God holds us in His hands?”


“Well, I think Coulter and I are next to each other.”

Coulter interrupts. “Mom, why is it always His right hand? I mean, what’s wrong with his left hand?”

And he’s not being a smart-A. He’s sincere.

And I’m not smart enough to answer. “Let’s ask Pastor Kyle about that.”

And then he gives me this answer that supposedly Pastor Kyle had given him, but I think it can’t possibly be right so we are going to re-visit it.


I’d never thought of it, but yes, Emma Claire. I bet y’all are next to each other.

A few days later, snuggled in tight, she brings it up again.


“Yes, Emma Claire.”

“You know how God holds us in His hand?”

“Uhm. Yes.” I’m thinking we’ve really already covered this to the extent of my theological, you know, smartness-level.

“I think God closes His hand around us at night. That’s why it’s dark.”

Seeing life, the light and the dark through the eyes of a child.

A little bit speechless at this child who’s so much brighter than her mom and remembering a text from Ann Voskamp’s blog about being hidden in the shelter of His wings as He passes by and maybe it’s His wings and maybe it’s His hands but my daughter in her five magical years just hit on a point that a best-selling author wrote about and all I could say was—

“Yes, Emma Claire. I think you are right.”

We are closing in on a year that I have seen more darkness than at any other time in my life. It seemed to come crashing down all around my friends and my community and a friend put it this way—

There is a cloud over Fremont.

There is a darkness.

Husbands lost. 30-something widows.

That was plural.

Marriages imploding. Trust wasted and broken.

That was plural.

16 year-old babies given back into the hands of Jesus.

Mourning mothers.

That was plural.

Mothers, fathers, friends and—


And how do we sing of this, “The most wonderful time of the year?”

But I know it from my own story and I know it from a 5-year-old. He is closest when it’s dark. He hides us in the shelter of His wings. He holds us in the palm of His hand.

And it looks dark and it feels cold but when we stop wrestling and just lean into Him, we will feel it.

We will know it.

He holds.

This morning a hymn—a familiar line that caught me by surprise.

Pierce through the cloud that brings us light.

Hold us, Lord, but open up your hand.  Pierce through the cloud.


And bring us light.


New York City. The city that never sleeps.

And this blog would work so much better if she had been to the city of lights.

What city is that?

Technically, NYC is also a city of lights. I mean how else would they never sleep?

And the trip is shocking and the trip is surprising not because she’s five but because her grandparents have shockingly generous hearts.

Sacrificial in their giving.

In the two years of God-controlled chaos and even for a time before, my parents have not gone on vacation. They’ve been in Fremont and while I’ve come to love my little town here, let’s be honest.

It’s not a hopping vacation destination.

I’m thankful for the look I get and the surprised  that registers  because it reminds me of the gift.

And how easily we take gifts for granted.

The gift of grandparents.

The gift of Jesus.

The gift of His birth. Of His death.

The gift.

Of His life.


Working with a client in the gym, I see a friend’s husband. More condolences to offer. He’s been to at least three funerals in the past year and those are just the ones I know of.

I say to him, my guess is your sick of funerals. I don’t know him well enough to go much deeper than that. He laughs. Yep. Ready to ring in a new year.

And I thought Hale Yeah and hallelujah to that! It’s time for a new year. But as I walked away I wish that I had had the courage to go a little bit deeper for there was this piercing truth that struck my heart.

Our hope is not in a new year.

Our hope is a new heaven and a new earth.

Our hope is in Christ.

And this year. I don’t want to forget the gift.

Come, thou long awaited Savior. Pierce through the cloud that brings the light.

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One thought on “Piercing the Cloud that Brings in the Light

  1. Needing this this month! Thanks Myra!!!

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