Hoping for the End of the Rope


We try to show God’s love in practical ways and then make an effort to tell people how they can access that love for themselves by reaching up as he reaches down.

The end of the month in the Tenderloin could be compared to the end of one’s rope or the end of someone’s life (many die in that neighborhood of overdoses, cirrhosis, hepatitis, and all manner of other diseases common to the addict and indigent). This is when God usually shows up – at the end – at the end of our plans, the end of our devices, the end of our lives, and eventually, at the end of time. Jesus saved the thief on the cross at the end of his life, the father embraced his prodigal son when he “came to the end of himself,” and God made Jacob into the Prince of his people at the end of his strength after a night of wrestling.

Though their extremity is most obvious at the end of the month we go throughout the month, hoping that they’ll let go of the end of their ropes and that Jesus will catch them and carry them to a place where they don’t have to expend all their strength holding on for dear life.

– Originally published in The Other End of the Dark: A Memoir About Divorce, Cancer, and Things God Does Anyway (the profits of which go to Freedom House).

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