When Everything Changes, Just Come and See (Lent, Day 19)

*Please read my disclaimer page for a list of disclaimers.

Let me set a scene for you.

It’s almost two decades into the millennium.

I am beginning midlife and feeling as if I’ve exhausted every possibility of chasing my dream, which was to help women like me achieve contentment by using my power of storytelling. 

My family was changing. My husband and I had lost our spark, the usual feeling one has after being around another living soul for longer than a decade. 

My children were getting older and being set free.  

I had everything I could need and want… so I was told. 

Even so, I felt a gnawing that season, a fear that time was going too fast, that I wasn’t who I was supposed to be, that life had passed me by.

I couldn’t quite pinpoint it, but something felt… off. 

I thought maybe I was worried about finances. Having grown up in a home where my parents sang the phrases, “no, we can’t afford this,” “no, we can’t go there,” and “no, we can’t do that,” like the chorus to a one-hit wonder, I’d always worried about money, even when my husband and I held an abundance of it. 

Maybe I was just bored. I didn’t see the point in “wasting my time” freelance writing if I would not be monetarily successful. I thought I needed to take a “normal” job, even though a creative person like me hates that word. Right-brained souls (I know, I know; it’s a myth) crave spontaneity, adventure and change. 

Against what I knew to be true about myself and despite an almost-audible no from God, I returned to working full time. 

It was during this time of disobedience that I resented everything about my life: where I’d come from, how I’d gotten there, where I was going, where I’d been. 

I hated who I was at my very core. 

Angry that I was stuck and running in circles, I made a commitment to figure life out. I was going to work on some issues, and I was excited about the future.

Then, out of nowhere… a pandemic hit. 

The year 2020 was a tsunami of misfortunes for my family (and the world). 

While dealing with my stress, I watched America tailspin into madness. 

Long-held anger over misjustice, racism and hatred spilled over into the streets.

Misinformation about the pandemic fueled the fires of hysteria and cynicism.  

Scientists fought to bring truth, while trying to figure out what the “truth” was in a rapidly changing world that was struggling with a hard-to-pin-down virus. 

The economy lost its footing, which conservative news outlets loved. They claimed it was all a conspiracy to make the president look bad, while more mainstream news outlets did just that–blamed it all on the sitting president.

Police officers acted out of fear, literally jumping the gun and impulsively killing people they’d sworn by law to protect. 

Loud politicians spewed lies on both sides, creating bitter enemies where bipartisanship should have reigned. The politicians who desired to work together became lost in a sea of cacophony. 

And preachers who had previously shouted that 2020 would be a year of health, wealth and blessing were now claiming this was a punishment from God, a signal of “end times,” which only increased the venomous chatter of those who already viewed life through apocalyptic lenses. 

On January 6, 2021, my life changed forever. And from there, the month only grew worse. If anyone needed a reset, it was me.


[Ecclesiastes 3] 

For everything there is a season,

    a time for every activity under heaven.

2 A time to be born and a time to die.

    A time to plant and a time to harvest.

3 A time to kill and a time to heal.

    A time to tear down and a time to build up.

4 A time to cry and a time to laugh.

    A time to grieve and a time to dance.

5 A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.

    A time to embrace and a time to turn away.

6 A time to search and a time to quit searching.

    A time to keep and a time to throw away.

7 A time to tear and a time to mend.

    A time to be quiet and a time to speak.

8 A time to love and a time to hate.

    A time for war and a time for peace.


We can’t unpack the world’s greatest-selling book of all time, if we can’t first open our hearts to the understanding that everything in life has a season.

Everything changes. Everything that means anything to anybody is alive, growing and constantly evolving, stretching, shaping or shrinking. If it stops, it dies, and it all does, eventually. Period. 

  • A human being. She’s actively changing or steadily dying. And then she’s gone.
  • A pet. It’s born, it grows, it matures, it dies.
  • Plants, houses, cars, jobs, friendships, marriages. You either learn to roll with the punches and adapt to the changes, or you get stuck, latch onto bitterness, and die.

Here’s the cool thing about everything I’ve mentioned. When they “die,” they don’t really die. Every living thing becomes something new. 

But what do you do when you can’t fathom a Good God?

My mother was raised with no Jesus at all. Her home life was too horrific to write about. It’s not my story to tell, but she never saw God as a good and loving father. I can’t think of a single time in my life that she ever mentioned God or Jesus to me, except to tell me that God had caused all the bad in her life–and mine, too. 

Oddly enough, as a little girl, my church-delinquent parents hung a picture of Jesus in the bedroom I shared with my older brother. It was a picture countless Christians probably have seen before: a pasty-white, European Jesus, with long flowing hair, blue eyes, and the Sacred Heart coming out of his white-robed chest. 

You’d think a picture like that, eyes following you everywhere you went, would scare the BeJeezus out of a little girl, but I loved that picture. 

That Jesus made me feel safe and loved and seen.

In the summers of my youth, my brother and I would spend a couple of weeks at my favorite place on Earth: my paternal grandparents’ house. 

My grandmother would greet us at the screened door with a big hug; and though later I was much taller than she was, when I was a little girl, her hugs seemed larger than life. 

We’d run inside to grab the first handful of oatmeal raisin cookies we could find, and usually we’d get there just in time for lunch, which at my grandma’s house, was really dinner. Steak and potatoes, roast and carrots, barbecue sandwiches and homemade fries–everything she cooked tasted like home. 

We’d play outside with cousins–being Italian, I have a thousand–until the streetlights would illuminate the road. My grandmother would come outside holding mason jars with tinfoil on top, holes poked through just enough so that the lightning bugs we’d caught all night could breathe. 

We’d bathe, never shower (my grandparents only had one bathroom with a tub, no shower), and then we’d fall asleep listening to Billy Graham on the television or watching the old black-and-whites from Nick at Nite. 

Those were the days. 

The best part of that time, although I didn’t realize it back then, were the Saturday evening Masses we would attend my grandmother’s Catholic Church. 

Unlike my cousins, who could wear jeans, I had to wear a dress and pantyhose. Yuck. I hated that part, but I loved quietly walking into the church, with its stunning marble floors and the smell of incense and holy water luring me inside, where to this day, a massive carving of Christ Crucified still hangs behind the altar.

Most children were probably terrified of the Crucifix, but not me. That was the same Jesus who lived in my bedroom, the one who loved, protected and saw me. 


[John 1 ] 35 The following day John was again standing with two of his disciples. 36 As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and declared, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!” 37 When John’s two disciples heard this, they followed Jesus.

38 Jesus looked around and saw them following. “What do you want?” he asked them.

They replied, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”

39 “Come and see,” he said. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon when they went with him to the place where he was staying, and they remained with him the rest of the day.

40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of these men who heard what John said and then followed Jesus. 41 Andrew went to find his brother, Simon, and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means “Christ”).

42 Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus. Looking intently at Simon, Jesus said, “Your name is Simon, son of John—but you will be called Cephas” (which means “Peter”).

43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Come, follow me.” 44 Philip was from Bethsaida, Andrew and Peter’s hometown.

45 Philip went to look for Nathanael and told him, “We have found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth.”

46 “Nazareth!” exclaimed Nathanael. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”

“Come and see for yourself,” Philip replied.

47 As they approached, Jesus said, “Now here is a genuine son of Israel—a man of complete integrity.”

48 “How do you know about me?” Nathanael asked.

Jesus replied, “I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you.”

49 Then Nathanael exclaimed, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God—the King of Israel!”

50 Jesus asked him, “Do you believe this just because I told you I had seen you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.” 51 Then he said, “I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth.” 


Notice that John the Baptist’s men were primed to follow Jesus. Whether he realized it at the time or not, that had been John’s job. His men knew John wasn’t “The One,” and his entire purpose was to be leading people to “the lamb of God.” 

He does his job, and he knows when it’s time to let his people go. This is extremely fitting of someone who knows God. God is all about letting go. He is a God of freedom, not constraint. 

Throughout the pages of the Bible, God asks people to believe without seeing. From Noah all the way to John the Revelator, God constantly requires His people to believe first, receive later. 

It’s why our thoughts are so incredibly important. What you think becomes how you feel; how you feel becomes how you believe; what you believe becomes how you act; and how you act becomes your life! 

Jesus recognizes his followers’ needs. What do you want? He asks them. He is all but begging them to ask.

John’s buddies refer to Jesus as “teacher” because he’s been teaching in the synagogue from a very young age–in a way that frightened the leaders, who knew him as nothing more than a poor carpenter’s son. 

When John’s men ask where he is staying (How do I get to where you are?) Jesus tells them, “Come and see!” He is open and willing to let them in without question. 

Reading the Bible post-Biblical times is a lot like watching a miniseries that you’ve been hearing about forever. On the other side of the events, we miss that Jesus’s theology was brand new to the Jewish people. 

We have to fill in a lot of blanks because these stories are full of missing words (literally–the actual original texts we’ve found over the years were found in bits and pieces). Translators have done their best to assume what the original authors were saying. (Let that sink in for just a moment!) For example, most likely, this Jesus of Nazareth had already performed some miracles. I say this with confidence because John’s followers called him the messiah with almost no hesitation. They wouldn’t have done that without some solid evidence to back it up. 

Also, something to note is that there are valid arguments that Jesus was never actually from the literal Nazareth (remember: the Bible does not always equal accurate history book), but it’s clear that the author of John wanted us to understand what “Nazareth” stood for. 

The word Nazareth today means separated, crowned, sanctified. (MW) But judging Nathanael’s reaction, it’s safe to say that was not the meaning of the old word. Nazareth was po-folk land. A dumping ground for trash. A landfill, of sorts. 

Can anything good come from something so bad? 

Come and see. 

See you soon,



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