This reminds me and reinforces the idea that God is not the cause of our pain but the presence of love in the midst of suffering. God does not exist at a distance that requires a “coming down” to be with us. God is with us.
Emmanuel. Jesus was a common name; I wonder if maybe he had a nickname.
Manny, perhaps. There is another message within this reassurance of God’s compassion — -
passion = suffering,
com- = with — the disappointing truth that the earth will change. And not just a few tweaks around the edges, but mountains shaking in the heart of the sea, in the most important, most sacred, most devastating of places, triggering tidal waves of trouble. Then, in those predicted and eventual moments, I am a refugee seeking solace and sanctuary in God’s house.
Manny, be with me. When I have to let go of one hymnal and accept one I don’t know well and don’t much like yet, be my courage. When I have to say good bye, be my comfort while I figure out how to say hello. When I have to be the adult and not throw a hissy fit because I’m not getting my way, be my swaddling blanket. When what is most familiar and the most loved is threatened, stand with me to defend it, to protect it, and, if in the end it is your will, to release it with gratitude. Amen.