Posts Tagged ‘#howlongolord’

There she was … beautiful to the eye, beautiful to the heart.

She emerged, just as those who came to witness had anticipated. Dressed in white from head to toe. It seemed that light emerged with her, from within her.

Her face glowed. With each step forward, closer to him, there seemed to be an increase in her radiance.

Her lips moved …

she was singing. Though her words were not audible, her lips moved, over and over, singing thanks be to you.

Everyone in attendance was hushed, captivated, as in a spell. The attention of all was given freely, yet inescapably. For her beauty, her luminescence, her effervescence was wholly captivating, drawing the attention of each one in attendance fully to her, to him.

Her eyes did not look left or right. Her eyes were for him alone and he was her focus.

She was not born this way, though this was always her purpose, her destiny.

The closer she moved toward him, the more beautiful, more radiant, more pure in every way she became. For he was the source of her allure.

The way he looked at her … love, desire, hope for the future. She was that for which he was willing to sacrifice everything. She was his muse and he was her one true purpose.

The bride, who is the church of Christ. This is who He created her to be, in all of her beauty, and draw, and purpose. This was the intent of the Church, by the author of our lives. We are this bride, his bride, his church.

He spoke to Peter (Matthew 16:18),

“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”

The gates of hell …

But what if gates of hell do seem to prevail … in the church?

This past week, here in British Columbia, Canada, we have been gutted to learn of the discovery of the remains of 215 children found at a former indigenous school. These were not graves with markers, with names, but the remains of the bodies, covered by the dirt, the dust of our feet. These remains are of souls who God saw as fellow members of the bride, his church.

We cannot imagine how humans could do such a thing. We cannot imagine how those who claim Christ, especially, could do such a thing(s).

We, who claim Christ, who are part of the Church are shaking our heads.

How can such evil exist under the name of God???

How can this be the bride of Christ???

We lament, “how long O Lord? …”

The Church has forgotten. We have forgotten our first love, our purpose, who gives life and breath. We forget who are … not because of how the world treats us, but because of how we treat each other … because we have taken our eyes of the bridegroom.

In the Word of God we are told over and over to choose humility, to pray. Perhaps this is where we must start.

Dear God,

We come to you, in humility.

We come to you with heaviness of heart and tear-stained faces. These souls that were lost each tell a story, each bore your fingerprint, your image. They were your children. We mourn for them, their families.
God we who claim you are aghast that anyone could do such a thing. And that they might have claimed to be part of your Church has us shaking our heads, bowing our heads.

God, we come to you and ask that you show us how to right the wrongs … these wrongs. How to end the evil within your Church … within ourselves


But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.” Ephesians 5:3-13


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Let me preface today’s post by saying that it might be too dark, too filled with questions, too real for you today. Most days I keep my focus on wonder, on the light, on hope. But, let’s be real, life isn’t always that bright. Yes, I still believe that God has a plan. Yes, I still believe that good wins over evil. And, yes, I know that because of Christ, there is hope. But … I also know that sometimes our perspective of where we are is shadowy and requires a mournful lament of our helpless state.

So … stop reading now if (in the words of Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men) “you can’t handle the truth”.

It happened again, like it has happened dozens of times in the past few years. One of our daughters had spent numerous hours in the ER, looking for answers, for relief from pain, for the assurance that it was just another flare and not a bowel obstruction or kidney stones or ulcers (just to name a few possibilities … avoiding the less appropriate for public discussion).

Again, it was just a flare … nothing serious.

Again, all they could do was offer IV fluids, pain relief (in the form of acetaminophen or opioids).

Again, they headed home, still in pain.

I didn’t hear about this, latest episode, until she was headed home ’cause … what can mom do anyway? why cause her to worry? Sometimes I hear about it before they go to the ER, looking for another to help them decide if it’s worth it to sit, in pain, in uncomfortable ER chairs, for hours (though they have discovered that vomiting in the waiting room is most efficient way to fast track themselves through the process of triage).

For one it took almost two years and the other four years before diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. But the pain began (for both) years before pursuit of origin of pain and eventual diagnosis (one of their diagnosis was delayed because the specialist didn’t look in the most common area affected by the disease, delaying her diagnosis by over a year).

SO many doctors, specialists, tests, procedures and even surgery to get to a diagnosis!

Crohn’s Disease is an auto-immune condition (their immune systems fight their own cells as though they were invading cells) where inflammation affects the intestines, causing ulcers to form, thickening of the intestines and scar tissue. This is the Coles/Cliffs notes description. Suffice it to say that it is (quite literally) a painful, stomach-churning, shitty disease.

It is said that about 1/5 people with Crohn’s disease have a family member with it … our family has 2/5.

Our girls have experienced the relief of human biologic medicines that have given both measured relief … temporarily. Steroids are another (short-term) option, but … sigh … anyone who knows steroids knows that sometimes the medicine is almost worse than the disease.

Both are now currently waiting for the next help … the next (short-term) miracle.

Speaking of miracles …

I believe in them. I believe in the miracle worker Himself. The one who formed these souls, so precious to this momma’s heart. Each of their existence alone are miracles. They were prayed for, prayed over, dedicated to God, from before either took their first breath (and one of them took her good ol’ time to take that first breath).

The other night, I reached my breaking point. After hearing about this latest episode, from my girl, sobbing in pain … again (after she left the hospital). I uttered words that I just never imagined coming from my lips …

I just don’t see any hope in this.

I am not one who feels they deserve better than others. Nor do I think that life is without pain, or struggle or difficulty. But … this is hard, really hard … not for me, but for them. Their struggle is one that touches every other part of their life … from work, to relationships, to physical stamina, to travel, to mental health, to future dreams.

A few days later, I am still struggling to find hope in this shitty mess.

This is me, being really real today … lamenting, like the Psalmist (13:1) who cried out “how long, O Lord …”

And I do believe that hope will resurface, somewhere, sometime, “in the shadows of disappointment and darkness” (Nouwen).

“Hope is not dependent on peace in the land, justice in the world, and success in the business. Hope is willing to leave unanswered questions unanswered and unknown futures unknown. Hope makes you see God’s guiding hand not only in the gentle and pleasant moments but also in the shadows of disappointment and darkness. No one can truly say with certainty where he or she will be ten or twenty years from now. You do not know if you will be free or in captivity, if you will be honored or despised, if you will have many friends or few, if you will be liked or rejected. But when you hold lightly these dreams and fears, you can be open to receive every day as a new day and to live your life as a unique expression of God’s love for humankind. There is an old expression that says, “As long as there is life there is hope.” As Christians we also say, “As long as there is hope there is life.”

Henri J.M. Nouwen, Turn My Mourning into Dancing: Finding Hope in Hard Times

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