Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. Psalm 30:5 (NLT)
I’ve never been in a choir that sang at so many funerals—another one last Sunday. September has been a long month of loss and sadness yet followed by assurance that heaven is a much better home. I didn’t personally know the man we celebrated on Sunday but that doesn’t mean a few tears didn’t drip down my cheeks. I think of my dad and Mark’s mom who live each day expecting to see Jesus soon and when that time of memorial might be for my family.
Loss rears its head in many ways. I often think of the Kubler-Ross, Five Stages of Grief, when talking with someone in the midst of great pain. No one follows the stages exactly but it gives some structure to a world that has been turned upside down. Acceptance, the final stage, is a journey that meanders, meets road blocks, seems impossible at times, but eventually smoothes out to a steady path.
While reading a couple of my favorite online devotions this week, both emphasized the concept of compassion. Listen to Alan Redpath: “You can never lighten the load unless you have first felt the pressure in your own soul.” I realized that my tears echoed my willingness to feel their pain as if it was my own. Due to the twists in turns in my life, God, in His faithfulness ,has softened the hard-charging girl I once was and given me a heart of compassion.
I’m not sure how God wants me to live out compassion but I’m trying to listen to His still small voice. I stopped by and gave my friend a hug. I have a couple of phone calls to make. Any ideas?
The Lord is my light and the one who saves me. So why should I fear anyone? The Lord protects my life. So why should I be afraid? Evil people may try to destroy my body. My enemies and those who hate me attack me, but they are overwhelmed and defeated. If an army surrounds me, I will not be afraid. If war breaks out, I will trust the Lord. Psalm 27:1-3 (NCV)
It’s about 6:30 in the morning and the phone rings, waking me up. I reach over and pick it up.
“Mom, turn on the TV.”
I’m suddenly catapulted into a very scary movie, only it’s not a movie…it’s an attack on my country by evil men who want to destroy everything I believe in.
I watch in horror, barely moving or breathing, as the unthinkable happens and the buildings collapse. People run, smothering dust plumes roll and fill up the area, bits of paper stream down like a ticker tape parade. Screams, sirens, anguish fill the screen. God, where are you?
It all seems like yesterday but tomorrow is a day of remembrance — where we were and what we were doing 10 years ago when our world tilted. We remember those loved ones that perished in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington DC.
Life has changed in ways that my granddaughters will never know but the terrorists only strengthened our resolve. This country was founded by men and women seeking freedom from the tyranny of religious oppression. Today, we continue to be the object of jihad by people who hate our faith in God. It wasn’t easy then and it continues to be a fight, as 9/11 reminds us.
The verses in Psalms ask the same questions that I have. I don’t know why horrible things happen but I do know Jesus who promises to be my light and protector. I will trust in Him.