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Storyteller. Grace Dweller.

I’m Jennifer — wife of an Iowa farmer, mom to two girls, new book author. I believe in you, because I believe in Jesus. You matter to Him, and you matter to me. more »

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Tuesday 28th March 2017

When Jesus Sits Cross-Legged At The End of Your Bed


It’s bedtime. I lean back into the pillow, lace my fingers behind my head, and stare at the ceiling for a long time. This is ordinarily the quietest moment of my day — at least externally. But on the inside? It feels noisy, an interior clanging brought on by the suffering around us and in us.

I breathe.

With every exhale, I let each burden unhinge itself from my soul and fly skyward, up through the ceiling, as if attached to balloons. I suppose you could say I am praying. But it actually feels like the Holy Spirit is doing the heavy lifting — like it says in Romans 8:26.

“If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans” (The Message paraphrase).

I find this one of the most fascinating features of the Holy Spirit, how we don’t have to be fancy with our words. How we can just let a word slip out — or maybe a groan, a whimper, a cry, a syllable. The Holy Spirit makes something special out of it.

Anyway, here I am — uttering words and groans, flip-book style for the hurt that clings to the edges of my evening heart:

The division in our nation.
My friend’s diagnosis.
Dad’s continued struggle with his amputated leg.
Mom’s sore back.
The mourners.
The grievers.
The ones with no peace.
The hungry.
The widow.
The refugee.
The friend in my life facing unwanted transition.
The betrayed.
Even the cranky clerk at the store.

In this moment, I feel the with-ness of Jesus. I feel Him with me. Near, so near. It’s the way He promises to be close to the brokenhearted and, actually, how He presents Himself to all of us, whether we’re downtrodden or at the top of our game.

I also feel the “us-ness” … of all of us. Here we are, seven billion people sharing a planet orbiting through space. We are all together in this. We are so together. We don’t even realize how together we are. Yet it doesn’t feel like “us-ness” sometimes. It feels like a chaotic “them-ness.” We point fingers and guns and accusations at whoever “them” is. We belong to one another, and we don’t even realize it.

Once upon a time, Jesus stepped into the us-ness — to become our with-ness and to put away all this divisive them-ness.

This is the promise of Emmanuel — God WITH us. With us in our sufferings. With us in our joys. With us in all brokenness. With us, unto death on the cross. With us, in the hope of the resurrection, mighty to save us. And with us, through His Holy Spirit.

Isn’t that something?

He moves where we move. He suffers where we suffer. He walks where we walk. He even prays, when we cannot quite find the strength to do it on our own. In moments like these, when I don’t know what to pray, I simply say: “I need you.” I can count on the Holy Spirit to do the rest, translating my weak groans.

We need Jesus as our Lord. We need Him as our Savior. But we also need Him to be our Friend. That’s why I often imagine Jesus sitting cross-legged at the end of my bed.* And just like a friend does, He finds the words when I have none. He turns my wordless sighs into prayers, and He desires the same “us-ness” that you and I do. That’s some kind of Friend.

There is no place we can go, no road we will travel, no ceiling we can stare at … where this Friend is not with us.

Where are you today? What are the words and wordless sighs that fall from your lips? Do you need Jesus to sit cross-legged with you in this moment? Know this:

The Lord your God is WITH you. He is mighty to save.

He is your Lord. Your Savior. Your Friend.

mighty to save
(* The image of a cross-legged Jesus at the end of my bed become a lifeline for me in 2008, when we were dealing with my father-in-law’s terminal illness. A friend suggested we pray to Jesus, as if He were cross-legged at the end of the bed. It’s an image that I have carried with me ever since.)

#TellHisStory

Hey Tell His Story crew! It is a joy to gather here every week with you. The linkup goes live each Tuesday at 4 p.m. (CT). If you would use the badge on your blog, found here, that would be great! And if you would visit at least one other blogger in the link-up and encourage them with a comment, that would be beautiful! Be sure to check the sidebar later. I’ll be featuring one of you over there!

Our featured writer this week is Michele Morin. These words on friendship and hospitality are a great reminder to each one of us… No one is perfect and that’s more than okayFind Michele here.

To be considered as our featured writer, be sure to use our badge or a link to my blog from your post. xo Jennifer


  • Such a beautiful image, Jennifer, of the “with-ness” of Jesus. Thank you for sharing your experience of His faithfulness in all circumstances.

    And thank you for putting the spotlight today on my words about hospitality and friendship. What a gift from God when we find them both and know that He is behind the scenes ordering our circumstances and loving us all the time.

    • It’s as joy to feature your writing, Michele. You’ve been such an encourager to so many people over the years. Thank you for shining your light.

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  • Love the image of Jesus sitting on the bed with us as our friend.

    • Me, too. It’s been such a comfort to me. Thanks, Theresa.

  • I like this –> Jesus stepped into the us-ness — to become our with-ness and to put away all this divisive them-ness.

    He broke down the middle wall of partition; he rent the veil. He reconciled us!

    • Yes! TRUTH! Thanks for sharing.

  • Mary

    I love the image of Jesus sitting cross legged at the end of my bed. There is comfort and peace in knowing He is so close. Thank you for hitting home with your words! They are a blessing!

    • Glad these words found their way to your heart, Mary.

  • Liz

    Powerful words today. I’ve been feeling quite overwhelmed by all the needs around me lately and picturing Jesus at the foot of my bed is super comforting today! So thankful the Spirit “does the heavy lifting,” like you said!

    • So happy that these words encouraged you, Liz.

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  • I’m going to remember this for a long time–Jesus sitting cross-legged at the end of my bed listening to all the sighs of my heart. Thank you.

    • It’s an image that has stuck with me all these years. I treasure it.

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  • Kristi Woods

    He is mighty to save – yes and yes! A reminder that He is with us proves encouraging every time. Thank you, Jennifer.

    • You are welcome, dear friend. Always a joy to see your smile in my comment box.

  • Jennifer, glad you have experienced Jesus’s “with-ness” w you. I treasure those moments, too. Praying God continues to give your dad grace and your family…I can imagine it is hard. Sorry.

    • Thank you, Dolly. It means so much to us.

  • Sherry Thecharmofhome

    He is right there. Always! Amazing isn’t it? Thanks for hosting!

    • So grateful for the “with-ness” of Jesus.

  • Tara Ulrich

    I love that image. My Lenten practice is praying through my FB friends list. I love thinking Jesus is sitting cross legged on the edge of my bed as I lift up my friends and family. Beautiful!

    • So glad this encouraged you, Tara.

  • Susan

    What an image! I have the weight of a 14 pound poodle mix, Sam, at my feet each night – from now on I’m going to imagine a cross-legged Jesus! And, that Michele Morin, she is Wordsmith Extraordinaire – you just can’t find better than MM to share the stage with! Going over there now to read what awesome words she’s spun this week. xo

    • Haha! So you have a built-in “helper” as you imagine a cross-legged Jesus. Love it!

  • Jennifer – I love the image of Jesus sitting on my bed cross legged. Thank you for sharing that. By the end of the day many times I am so worn out I just want the day to start over with new mercies. I can’t wait until tonight to imagine Jesus there. Maree

    • so happy this encouraged you, maree.

      xo

  • Lisa

    Wow…”what a friend we have in Jesus” comes to mind… I have been praying a lot of those “Jesus Help” prayers lately. Prayers for my college son who suffers with depression and other orientation issues, prayers for my son who is in the Army working up for a deployment, prayers for my daughter as she teaches middle schooler(front lines for sure!). I love this picture you have painted with your words. Now when I pray sitting on my bed, I will imagine our Heavenly Father sitting with me , cross legged , listening intently to the prayers that only come out in small words as sometimes it is too painful to say complete thoughts.

  • I love that image of Jesus cross-legged at the end of my bed! It’s so approachable. So real. So familial. Thank you!

  • Melissa Wentzel

    “Once upon a time, Jesus stepped into the us-ness — to become our with-ness and to put away all this divisive them-ness.” What a perfect description of the Incarnation. Thank you for sharing this reflection!

  • Julie Loos

    I love this image of Him coming into my scared place and sitting on the end of my bed. This comforts my soul so much!
    I’m glad to see Michele featured here too! She has such great insight and wisdom!

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  • Beautiful, Jennifer. Oh, someday we’ll get that one on one time with our Jesus, but in the meantime, I’m so grateful He hears every word I never say.

  • Nancy Ruegg

    I’m so glad not to be the only one who uses imagery when they pray! For years, my early morning quiet took place at the kitchen table. I’d drape my arms across the table and imagine Jesus on the other side, reaching across and holding my hands as I talked to Him. It enhanced my focus and connection. Now, our new home and changed circumstances ( We’re retired!) have also changed my routine. I no longer have the kitchen to myself, so a new image was needed that fit my new quiet time locale at a computer desk, against a wall. I happened upon a photo of two Adirondack chairs, perched on a deck overlooking a serene lake and majestic mountains in the distance. Instantly I could picture Jesus and me sitting there, side by side, taking in the grandeur while we talked. So now that’s where I meet my Friend, my Emmanuel–at an imaginary lakeside!

What a catch (and a keeper). 21 years today. 💍❤️🎣 ift.tt/2s1ljmK pic.twitter.com/3a62JW7wNu