It has been weeks now.  Weeks since this infection has taken hold in my spirit.  Weeks since I started the treatment recommended by others.  Weeks that have been pelting me with the darkness.

Children born into addiction who bear their own children into it
Generations lost to learned helplessness and reliance on handouts
Abuse and degradation by others that steals hope and innocence
Corruption and lies of government
Name calling and hurting each other because main stream media tells us we should
Abortions, murders really, of viable babies by monstrous humans who are proud of what they did
"Natural" disasters
Death of babies, barely known
Christian pastors imprisoned overseas while immigrants kill citizens here
Suicide in the county jail of a young man
Death of baby by his mother after she tries to flush him and then leaves him in a trashcan

At first I curled into a ball, numb.  How could God allow this to happen?  Why would he allow us to sin against each other like this?  He can take it if we sin against him, but we are so fragile...

Then my sisters and brothers gathered around me, helped me to stand, supported me when my knees grew weak with all the suffering pressing around me.  Their voices, in prayer and praise, revived my spirit as surely as any code blue has revived a man.

As my strength grew, so did my gratitude.  Not that I am not personally victimized by the sorrows, but that my God has a plan.  I have Scripture that is like balm for my heart, that heals and offers hope.  I know that my God did not plan this world to go astray as it did.  I am grateful that he makes a way to restore us to his plan, offers us his shalom.

My heart is again heavy as conversations today have glanced on the deaths of babies at the hand of their mothers, unable to look at that darkness for long.  A new gratitude awakens.  Not only does my God have a plan, but I know God.  I am not wandering in this darkness.  I don't belong here.  I. Don't.  Belong.  Here.  I belong with and to my Father.  I am cared for, even if I own nothing.  I am blessed, even if I am without.  I am never alone.  I am of a purpose and on a mission.

But these individuals, what do they know?  They know fear and darkness and pain and desperation.  They need to know forgiveness and joy and redemption and restoration.

Our stomachs will turn the more that we try to look evil in the eye, but let us not beat up the beaten.  I wonder if when Jesus said, "They know not what they do," was that explaining that the crowd didn't know that they had just executed their God, or that their eyes were still shut?  Perhaps instead of judging (which is very different than holding someone legally responsible), we should be reaching out with the Gospel...perhaps she/he needs to know what is possible...what God intended.  Of course, it doesn't absolve guilt.  That isn't mine to do. 

I don't know.  I just am thinking.  Maybe the Gospel is good for more than just altar calls on Sunday.  Maybe the Gospel needs to get out of our church buildings, off corny pictures and sayings on Facebook, and get INTO the community that needs it so desperately! 


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