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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Prison


Words.  They are not all weighted equally.  Some are light as a feather.  Others feel like boulders.  What do you say to the man who killed your child?  To the one who snatched the life breath right out of her?  How do you look him right in the eye and see into the window of his soul?  Just the thought of it makes my words run far away.  I feel my lips trembling already.  Perhaps my fingers can find them… in case my lips cannot.

I knew the day might come.  And I still don’t know for sure if it has or not.  But there is a good chance that when I wake up tomorrow it will be the day.  One of the hardest in my life.  Some of the most difficult words I will ever speak… if I choose to speak them. 

Do I try to convey the pain?  Is it pointless?  Does he care?   Could he possibly understand?  How can you even glimpse the pain of losing a child when you have never known the love of a child?  Responsibility.  Change.  Forgiveness.   All these words are swirling but so disconnected and flighty.   Grace.  Somehow I have to talk about the Grace.  The grace I know that has kept me sane, has lent me some stability when the world has spun out of control.  Only that will wake him up and break him out of his own darkness… out of the prison he carries with him wherever he goes. 

Maybe that’s it.  Maybe I should talk about prison.  The prison of the soul.  The sentence I received when my little one was ripped from my arms- a separation that will last a lifetime.  No chance of parole.  The prison that bitterness and unforgiveness would like to lock me away in forever, but I whisper the keys “I forgive” whenever the dark thoughts try to creep in, push me back, and lock the door.  The prison he has spent some time in on this earth.  The prison of separation from the God who embodies all goodness and love that will keep him if he sits down in the darkness and refuses to walk out into the light.  It is the easiest prison to escape.  Love has unlocked the door and grace has swung it open.  But so often we sit like obstinate little children with our eyes pressed tightly shut and our fingers in our ears when all we need to do is SEE the door and walk through it.

If you are reading this and you are a praying person, now would be a time to pray.  For courage.  For me.  For him.  For the words to come, if indeed this is the time.  For eyes to see.  I feel like this might be a pivotal moment for me… you know the kind that more of your life hinges on than you realize.  Usually those days are dark and terrible, but they must be faced.  Our time is so short…  

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Redemption

It’s just a plain room.  A typical classroom with no fancy bells or whistles.  And we are just regular people eating a pretty average lunch. 
 
But the words that fill they air.  They seem to change everything. 
 
She tells me how she has always been in church.  My friend is married to a man who was the youth pastor one time.  She was the church secretary.  The Holy Spirit began to whisper to her heart.  Knock, knock, knocking on the door that she didn’t even realize she had never opened.  Softer and softer that heart became.  Peace.  She did not have it.  Tossing and turning at night while the questions wrestled her.  Finally, they pinned her down.  And she tapped out in surrender. 

The door creeped open as she decided to put her trust in a God she knew all about but didn’t really know.  And then suddenly love flew in!  It swept her from her feet and she has never found them again!  She is dancing still, held firmly in Jesus arms.  Her feet not touching the ground as they swirl along through this life together.  Peace.  She has it now. And redemption.

 And I feel it.  And it suddenly seems as if the room isn’t quite so regular.  And I remember the verse.  It echoes through my mind…

 Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard.  A scroll of remembrance was written in His presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name.  Malachi 3:16

These words of my friend’s, this conversation, it bends the ear of heaven.  Redemption.  Talk of redemption draws the gaze of even the One sitting on the very throne of heaven.  The whole story of the earth pivots on this one word… Redemption. 

 And as she tells it, we feel a change in the atmosphere.  Not only does the King of Heaven hear us, perhaps words are being written in the scroll of remembrance as we speak.  And it feels so close.  Heaven, I mean.  Like suddenly it is not so hard to believe in the real, tangible place and the pull on my heart feels as if these words of redemption have drawn us closer to what is real.  And I wonder if angels are listening with longing in their hearts. 

Redemption changes a heart.  And a universe.  And a simple conversation about redemption can change even the atmosphere of a regular old room in a typical day of a pretty average lunch. 

 We finish our chips with stomachs full but hearts that are more full.  And eyes a little more moist than normal…

 

   “…Even angels long to look into these things.”   1 Peter 1:12

 “They overcame him (satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.”  Revelation 12:11