Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A Call to Love

Life seems just so absolutely messed up sometimes.  Not just my life, but the entire world.

There's more turmoil, fighting, hatred and all out, absolutely ugly, un-Jesus like behavior out there than I even know how to emotionally process.

And that's not just the secular world.

Christians often seem to be right there in the middle of it, forgetting that Jesus taught us to love--that the two greatest commands He gave us were to love God with every ounce of our being and to love everyone else like we love ourselves.  But we don't.

In spite of how evil, perverted, and confusing the world has become, we are still called to love.  God never said we should become an exclusive club and only love our own people. He told us to love--no stipulations.

Somehow we've strayed from "loving the sinner but hating the sin" to hating the sin, the sinner and anything that might possibly be connected.

We're scared of certain types of sinners and their sin, so we all but condemn them to hell rather than try to reach them and believe that God is powerful enough to change them.

We're scared of people who have a different religious preference than we do, so we're content to let them be homeless, starving refugees or, even worse, dead because they couldn't make it to freedom safely. We certainly couldn't accept them into our country or our homes, because they might have been taught to persecute Christians. Oh wait..remember Paul? God changed him from being the biggest persecutor of the church to being one of the men who is hugely responsible for the growth of the early church. The next Paul might just be seeking asylum in our country, waiting for you to show him what the love of Jesus looks like.

We're scared of investing our time into people we don't already know, because these people
might require something of us. They might be needy. We might not like them. They might not be "our kind of people." So we're content to stay in our comfortable little routines and ignore God's call to share His love with others.

Let's remember this, we are ALL sinners.  I am thankful my sins are covered by the blood of Jesus, but that doesn't make me superior to people who aren't Christians.  It actually gives me an even bigger responsibility to love these people, in spite of whatever is "wrong" with them.

Not only are we all sinners, but we are ALL created by, loved by, and made in the image of God.  These people that we're so scared of are people.  Human beings. Part of our family.  They're all just prodigal children who need to come home.  Who need to be loved.  Who need to see that there is something more to this whole Jesus thing than becoming a superior person who gets to condemn sinners.

Let's not write people off because of who we think they are.  Only God can know who they can become when His love washes over them.

They will never come to know the love of God through our hate, our apathy, our condemnation, our avoidance.

They will know we are Christians by our love.

And that love--the true, sacrificial love that we're called to live out--is a love that turns heads and hearts toward Jesus.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13

Thursday, September 3, 2015

When the Waves Come Crashing In

Saturday marked the one month point from when we found out we had lost our baby.  I keep wanting to write more, to share what I'm feeling, but I've been hesitant.  I'm hesitant, because I've gotten remarks from people that make me think they think I should have moved on by now.  That I should just be able to forget and get over it.  I guess since they've gotten over the initial sadness, they think I should have, too. Or perhaps I'm reading into people or assuming things, but that's what it seems like.   I've tried to be gracious toward people who make insensitive comments, but it's hard.

Most people are truly unaware of the way their words come across. And I get it.  Prior to this experience, I know I have said all the wrong things, too.

All I really want is for you to say I'm sorry.

Maybe to hug me if we're close and not even say anything, because your actions communicate that you still care.  That you're still remembering us in our time of grief.

To tell me that you're still praying, because I need it so much more than you know.

To ask me how I'm doing and be okay with me telling you.

I don't need you to try to fix my problem or psychoanalyze me.

And please, please don't tell me there can always be another baby because I'm still young enough and there's still more time.  You don't know that.  You don't know God's plan.  You don't know how terrifying the thought of being of being pregnant again might be.

And when you say that, it seems that you're implying that this new baby will replace the old baby.  And, frankly, that just makes me mad.  A baby couldn't replace my three Earth-born children, so why in the world would it replace the one in Heaven?

You can be certain that our Heaven baby is one of our children.  That we had already become a family of 6 in our minds. We had planned for where the baby would sleep, where the car seat would go, what we would name him or her.  So many hopes and dreams were held in my heart for this baby,  just like the hopes and dreams I have for the other three.

Every time one of the kids does something new, it's just a reminder that we'll never get to see our Heaven baby do that thing...or anything.

And part of me knows I should be grateful to have a baby who is completely safe from the pain, the hurt, the chaos of this sick world, but my heart aches to have my baby in my arms.

I ache.

Some days are better than others,  for sure.

A friend of mine who's dealing with the same grief described it to me well.  She said that some days she's okay.  She knows what might set her off, but things are manageable.  Other days the grief comes in like a giant wave that you didn't see coming, and it knocks you down before you even know it.

Today is that day for me.

Some days I ride the waves, some days I'm under water.

Don't worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.  If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
-Philippians 4:6-7

Praying for peace!