This letter is for the best bartender in America, whose kindness and steadfast constitution give every young man a healthy model of strength: Bill Burch.


Our cities are messy, crazy places. The very idea of Eden is so idyllic, so simple and peaceful, as to almost feel like a joke. Eden? Are you kidding? Who’s got the time?

I see how hard you work, how intensely you contend for the people around you. You’re a provider. You’re strong. If you fall, you get right back up. You’re the kind of person everyone wants on their team. I see your faithfulness, your desire for things to change, and the hard work you invest into making life better.

But it’s difficult.

In the face of all this effort, you must sometimes wonder, “Am I doing this right?”

I hear you, brother. We’re in the middle of an uphill climb. Eden is so far removed we can’t even remember what it looked like; heaven is so far forward we’re not even sure if it’s still there. We rightly wonder if what we’re actually doing bears any similarity to what we’re supposed to be doing. We wonder if God is at all pleased with our efforts. We wonder if our work matters, to God or anybody else, and whether it will last.

Are we getting closer to God? Or just busier?

Be patient. Our cooperation with God may be called “city work”[1] but our lives look more like the bottom of rugs. God is weaving the rug, but the bottom looks like a mess. The good news is that our work itself is redeemed, not just our souls. God sanctifies what we do when we do it for him, and our work now anticipates his finishing work then.


[1] Bringing together the resources of Creation, bringing wise order to the garden, and releasing human potential.