” . . . will lift you up.”

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” (James 4:10)

Last Saturday my granddaughter took me to the Museum of Science in Richmond, Virginia.  On the way there she said, You can help me roll the ball.”  I thought she meant it was a small ball in some sort of hands-on science experiment.  Little did I know she really meant a 29 ton, 9 ft across granite ball supported by a jet steam of water.  It’s the largest floating ball sculpture in the world, with a map of the world inscribed upon it, and along with a smaller suspended globe several feet away represents the earth and its moon.  The mammoth globe slowly rotates in the water jet and actually can be stopped or sped up by pushing against it.  So that’s what she meant about pushing a ball!  Water, just a high-powered stream of water, lifts this mega-globe and spins it around.  I still have trouble believing that something so simple as water supports the globe and causes it to spin.  (I actually called the museum to check it out.  It’s true – just water, and it’s turned off when it gets too cold.)  Wow!

The globe causes me to wonder, “What lifts us up?”  Is it the news of a raise at work, or a sale at your favorite store?  Many things might temporarily lift us from a state of difficulty or crisis, others might lift us from a state of boredom, but what ultimately lifts us from the despair of anxiety, helplessness, and despair is love that reminds us we’re not alone.  Water, an element so vital to human existence, yet often underappreciated, can lift a 29 ton granite sphere and spin it like a top.  Love, another “element” vital to human existence, yet also frequently underappreciated, can lift us from the despair of isolation and hold us up when all else seems lost.  I’m reminded of the words of a hymn referring to God’s love, “Love lifted me. Love lifted me.  When nothing else could help, love lifted me.”

Sometimes it’s difficult to lift others with love. Sometimes we struggle to find the right way to lift the other in love.   Sometimes they struggle to receive what we’re trying to offer.  Sometimes misunderstandings, misperceptions, misconceptions, miscommunications, misunderstandings, or misinterpretations can get in the way.  (Seems like there are a lot of ways to mis-………)   It also seems to me that in spite of all the “mis’s” the only thing to do is just keep lifting the other up in love.  Love will prevail if freely given.  That’s the model God offers in Christ and invites us to practice.  I pray that God will give me what I need to lift others in love.  How about you?

Blessings and Peace,


Pastor, Cross Lanes United Methodist Church

Cross Lanes, West Virginia

Help save lives! For more information on my book, “A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression,” visit

My other book, “Wednesday Wonderings: Spiritual Journaling Through a Lens” is available at and

Check out my video, “Teens Surviving the Storm”

~ by revgenelson on June 1, 2016.

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