I read about a man of questionable character who wrestles with God. There’s trouble behind, and trouble ahead, and Jacob is caught in one of those back-against-the-wall places where there’s nowhere left to turn. He spends a long, dark, and sleepless night at the end of himself.

Dawn breaks on a day he’s been dreading, and he’s afraid. Bless me! he cries out, because he has nothing left of his own to get him through it. And suddenly he sees it.

Jacob, the deceiver (for that is the meaning of his name), encounters the divine and comes away changed. He forever walks with a limp to remind him of the all night tousle, and God changes his name. A deceiver no longer, Jacob becomes Israel (God fights) and an entire nation and a people will come through him.

Later as I stand at the mirror, blow drying my hair and pondering a nagging something, I think about Jacob and how (in the words of Wm. Paul Young in The Shack) God is especially fond of those willing to wrestle and ruminate, the ruffians and the deceivers, the ones he calls Beloved.

Thanks so much for stopping by. I'm here most mornings with a photo and a few words about ordinary extraordinary things and, sometimes, thin places where faith intersects.

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