Walking Dead – the New Little House on the Prairie?

I remember reading “Night” by Elie Wiesel around the same time our eldest daughter was expecting their first child. If you haven’t read it, you should.

Had I known how disturbing the book was I probably would have set it aside for another season. The reason being, there is a chapter that describes Jewish babies being murdered. That being said the Holocaust happened, and I wanted to remember for those who lost their lives. I wanted to read it, so I could be a better person. I whispered a prayer of gratitude, that the world in which I lived was not in the grips of evil as it was then, or is it?

When we brought our babies home from the hospital I was in awe, at the overwhelming privilege of nurturing a new life, but mostly I was in awe with God, and why he would entrust us to such a sacred opportunity.

As our vehicle got closer and closer to our children’s home, I tried to imagine what it was going to be like when I looked into my grand-daughter’s eyes for the first time, and when she looked back at me. Nothing can prepare you for what takes place. It’s like the beginning of time starting all over again inside of you, and it swells, and swells until you think you might explode into a new universe. And in some ways that is exactly what happens. Not even the stars look the same.

Today I wonder why we’re doing all we can to snuff life out? Have we progressed since the holocaust, or are we getting better at justifying death?

We weep with families who have lost loved ones in shooting rampages across America. A few days go by, and we go to the movies and watch our heroes shoot up the screen, and tell ourselves we are in no way applauding violence.

We weep, on a cold Monday morning, driving to work as we hear the news about those who have lost loved ones in wars outside our borders. After work we tromp down to the television, and tune into more war, only in the form of a cop show, or a navy seal drama, and our sensitive souls are fed what exactly?

We’ve gotten so use to justifying the story, and the spilled blood that we don’t see the person anymore. Reality and pretend are no longer blurred, they share the same time slot. “Walking Dead” in the near future will be the new “Little House on the Prairie” -guaranteed.

At some point in time something has got to change, and we can start by talking about it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Should We Dare Expect the Joy Without the Sorrow?

Who am I that you are mindful of me?

I’m not the first to see the thirsty scorn your living water.

I’m not the only one, to wrestle or to question,

the mysteries of life, our groanings under heaven….

I just learned a couple of days ago that my song “O Morning Star” is on the shortlist of finalists, in the Word Guild Awards, Write Canada 2014, under the best song lyric category.

This song is very personal, they all are, but this one in particular, because it was written to prepare and equip for an agonizing time, for me, my family, and our church family.

Our daughter had come home for a sick day in November to let us know that a friend of hers had just lost her mother, after a long battle with depression and insomnia.  We were heart-sick, racked with tears and pain, but not without hope.  Our daughter brought her friend home shortly thereafter during a snow storm and we were all able to hunker down by the fireplace and hear the young lady tell us all about her mother.

A friend, and mother whose children were around the same ages as mine, had just been diagnosed with cancer, and aggressive kind.  Her family, and our church family as a whole – were devastated, but not without hope.  She died a week before Christmas, and her funeral was held just days before our Christmas Eve service.  Never has Christmas been so sacred or more meaningful. It was as if she was giving us a special gift, a reminder.  After all, that is why Jesus came to a manger, to identify with our sorrows, and sufferings, and eventually put an end to our eternal death sentence, by dying on the cross, then conquering death on the third day.

I had found out on a snowy Wednesday before Christmas that my brother was not recovering as we had hoped he would, from his stroke and related ailments.  I stood before a judge just five days before Christmas begging the Judge to grant me a warrant to get my brother further help.  The Judge granted the warrant but the Doctors would not comply.  We tried.  Did we fail?  Maybe, but….

Who am I that you are mindful of me?

Should I accept to dare expect, the joy without the sorrow?

You are the Holy One, my peaceful revelation.

The certainty of death is swallowed in salvation.

O Morning Star, you are life and light unto my soul, and still I sing….

©Cindy Palin, October 2013

The interesting and profound revelation is; this song was given to me right before any of the above mentioned, happened. Almost as a foreshadowing of what was to come.  I sang it throughout the months of November and December, as well as at our friend’s funeral, and felt God’s comfort and assurance through the journey.  He is  my Morning Star, and He is light and life unto my soul!

One Person’s Call is Our Opportunity!

I’m learning so much about faith.  How when someone in the Family of God is called to believe and act on that belief, it affects the entire family.  One person’s call means we are all called to do something in relation to it; pray, walk together, adjust, give.  Their sacrifice, must be our sacrifice in some way as well.  Sometimes it means we are to give up something.  Giving doesn’t always mean money.  One person’s call to serve is our opportunity to hunker down and re-evaluate our walk, to revisit issues like relationship, forgiveness, or unconditional love.  Sometimes it means being still and quiet and not rushing to the rescue so God can move!  Faith is all about action, but sometimes that action looks like we’re stalled, but waiting on God for permission to take His next, strategic leap!

Sometimes we think that following Christ means we’ve done something to deserve the call, earned it in someway (negating His mercy), then when we’re called to follow through with that call and find ourselves short of strength or resources, we then conclude that we’ve done something wrong or we haven’t heard God correctly (negating His grace).  Remember God’s ways are not our ways.  There are some things we don’t understand, can’t figure out, cannot control and that makes our selfish pride crazy!

We humans are all about conditions, power, position, measuring – God is not.  This morning, Christ’s sacrifice hit me on another level.  He gave his very life knowing that many would reject His gift.  He put no conditions on that gift, gave it for free.  He also knew some would embrace what His sacrifice means, only for a time, then turn away, but He still drug His cross up that hill and allowed His own creations to pound nails in his wrists.  He died!  He, the Son of God, laid down His life for everyone!

If you’re called to do something for God, do it for life!  Not just today, not just tomorrow – but for life!  You’ve accepted his gift, you’ve answered the call, answer that call everyday!

As Christians we think “responsibility”, as followers of Christ, we must think “throw caution to the wind” because as believers we cannot trust in our thinking at all.  Nobody likes to hear that because it’s an insult to our desire to feel and believe we’re smart.  Without God – we’re nothing.  I remember praying for my children’s safety and hearing God say “why?”, when we’re called to serve Him with reckless abandonment. Nobody likes those words because they sound unintellectual, and irresponsible.  I’m sure the disciples families and community thought the same when they left their boat with nothing but a robe and a pair of sandals,  and never looked back.

But we back up often, to apologize and try to sound theologically, or is it politically correct?  Following Christ is about being made new.  Starting all over with a “spirit” mind.  Hold onto what you were taught while growing up, with reverence and respect, but hold onto it lightly.  Jesus comes along and does the sorting and ultimately it is His leading and His Word that you must hang onto – tightly.

We’re in this together!