Tragedy occurred in our family when I was just six-years-old leaving in its wake devastation that has unfolded in all our lives for all the years that have followed. I cannot begin to imagine how different my life would have been had such a great loss not occurred. Just the presence of the gentle soul we lost staying and touching my life with her smiles and goodness would have made for a gentler world to grow up in, and it would have spared me the deep unrest, the mass confusion, and the inner conflict that would become my source of unquieted sorrow for decades. So much loss…so much greater for others in my family than for me.
As I’ve grown up and learned more about the hurts that led to the separation, the death of one I loved so dear, I’ve gained understanding, yet this only added to my anguish. How unnecessary! Why, why do some choose to enact their harshness on others, to take away from another what is never meant to be taken?
At this early point in life, I saw the end result of devaluing, one of another. I saw how the lack of compassion, lack of genuine love, lack of forgiveness, and self-serving attitudes and behaviors sometimes literally cost another’s life. How dreadfully sad! Yet it happens again and again and again…
I could, though I won’t, count and name the times I’ve watched this same disaster play out. I’ve seen it in my own life and watched in countless others. The burden that I continue to carry weighs heavier with each passing year. Why? Because it ought not so to be.
The more I see and hear the disregard for truth and righteousness in our land, the greater my burden grows. From the world stage to the community I live in, to individuals closest to my heart I find the same spirit of harm at work. I see husbands devaluing their wives. I see fathers leading their children into dark places, teaching them evil instead of good. I see leaders serving themselves, enriching their own lives at the expense of those who trusted them to serve and to protect. I see arrogance in place of humility; spite where love should reign. I see excuses in place of repentance, and lies in place of the truth.
My life of 43 years has been one of many blessings but has not been without the curse of sin. I’ve encountered the ugliness of sin and the devastation and loss that flows from it. I’ve experienced grace at the feet of my Savior and Godly love that heals what only He can. I write here today to speak truth in love. To acknowledge there is reason for the ways I choose to live, the words I choose to share, and the love I seek to give. I read scripture daily and find God speaking words of wisdom and truth, words of life, joy, and healing. I find His prophets and disciples beckoning to all who will hear, “come, drink of the water of life freely! Turn from your evil ways, repent, and the Lord will bless you! He will forgive you and give you peace.” Such bountiful, such perfect goodness is offered and yet…how many turn away, refusing the offer, the gift, the salvation of their souls, their lives, and the hearts of those closest to them? How many choose evil instead of good? Lies instead of truth? Turmoil instead of peace?
To all my friends who take the time to read these words that emanate from my heart, please join me in prayer for all. Pray for my family, for all families, for righteousness to spring up and drive away all that seeks to harm.
“For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” (Isaiah 55:12)