Sunday, 30 August 2015

Change of Season Softening of My Heart

This writing comes as August turns into September. This time of year always evokes conflicting feelings within me. For parents of children in school it is a time when your life speeds up, at least for me. It is a time when most of us long for summer as we taste the fall, and look ahead to winter.

John 11:35 Jesus wept. This is the shortest verse in the Bible and for me the most interesting, and encouraging. Jesus wept at Lazarus`s funeral even though Jesus knew He was to bring Lazarus back from the dead. I believe Jesus wept because of the pain and suffering people on earth experience.
One day I was behind a Grandfather pushing his severely mentally limited granddaughter in a store. The next day on the news I saw the many thousands of migrants risking their lives to flee their own Country to go somewhere, anywhere to leave their oppression behind. I read about a celebrity restaurant person charged with serious crimes against young girls. I tried to look up a quote by a man who fights human trafficking on his website. I was actually sickened by some of the stories I read about, and how some men treat the most vulnerable of our society.
I thought about God and wondered how could He watch everything that unfolds in a day? When I see such a small portion and feel like pulling the covers over my head and never leaving my bed.

My social media friends are very divided. A mention of a hot topic issue seems to bring out much name calling and hatred from both sides. I have stayed quiet on most issues. I have my beliefs. I have very strong, very personal reasons for my beliefs.
I wonder to myself is being quiet being cowardly? Or is being quiet being wise? I have not rushed into the scrum when a free for all has broken out amongst my facebook friends.
Do my Christian friends think I am being lukewarm?
Do my other friends think I agree with all they stand for?
I have been taught to pick my battles wisely. 
"Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary." a quote attributed to Francis of Assisi (now there is some dispute about who said this)
Lead by example, do your work with pride, treat your spouse with respect, love your neighbours, live your life without any hint of scandal and people will wonder why you are different and may want to change.
Bruxy Cavey Pastor at The Meeting House when asked about the reaction of some Christians and the angry, hurtful, hateful way they attacked a Christian organization for a difference of opinion. "The Church never gave up its power to hurt and kill. It was taken away, but they never gave it up."
I think about the people who Jesus went after most, the religious hypocrites.
I think about how when the woman caught in adultery was brought to him, Jesus let her go, about how when Jesus met the woman at the well with seven failed marriages. He revealed His true identity to her, she was the first non Jewish person. Jesus also did say "sin no more."
I wonder to myself how can I be more like Jesus? That is to not compromise, but also never to stop loving the people who sin? How can I effectively bring about change? 

At my oldest Daughter`s church dedication a single Mother dedicated her son. I am grateful that this church and the congregation accepted both of them. I am grateful this church offered many programs without judging to help mothers who decide to keep their children.
I am also grateful for the churches who provide counselling for young Mother`s who have decided to terminate pregnancies and struggle with guilt.
I am grateful for the many in my life who have stayed faithful to their spouses and have modeled loving marriages that have lasted more than 50 years.
I am most grateful for my Mother who carried me for nine months, delivered me and allowed me to go to a loving family via adoption.

A Summer meeting of my friends from the Ratanak Toronto core group. Most meetings have a flexible agenda. Prayer for Cambodia is front and center and usually upcoming events are discussed. At one point we usually break into small groups. One hour into the last meeting we felt a heaviness in the room over what many people were facing in their lives and we decided to stay together. Cambodia did not come up but some people who were carrying heavy burdens were covered in prayer, sealed with tears, the kind of prayer that changes things.
I went home feeling surprisingly good. My heaviness was still with me but I felt like doing something positive.

These are weeds on the road in front of my house. This picture is of a small area, the area I wanted to clear out is approximately 200 feet long. I grabbed my shovel and went to work. Two hours later I had removed all the weeds from the road.

What I found surprising was how shallow the roots were. The weeds are large and were growing on top of concrete, yet most came up very easily when I put a little pressure on them.
I thought of the weeds as the trappings of our society. Fame, money, power, sex all are like those weeds, satan is the root of these weeds. They look to bring you happiness but nothing shallow will satisfy.

"Life is short have an affair." Used to be the slogan for the much in the news dating website for married couples.
My slogan would be "life is short, join a cause."
I think of the number of members to this website over 39 million. I think of each member donating one dollar to a charity and think of the good that can come from 39 million dollars.
At a recent family get together a young girl found an old real estate sign of my Father`s, and walked around the room with it in front of her. Most family members laughed, not me for a young girl holding up a for sale sign in front of herself struck a nerve. 
I think of all the pain and suffering in this world and how God expects us to run towards it and not away from it.
I think of the words to a Sia song and how easy it would be to let the pain in this world overwhelm me.

Elastic Heart
You did not break me
I`m still fighting for peace

I`ve got thick skin and an elastic heart
But your blade it might be too sharp
I`m like a rubber band until you pull too hard
I may snap and I move fast
But you won`t see me fall apart
Cos I`ve got an elastic heart

You did not break me
I`m still fighting for peace

The reason so many in this world are able to continually enter into the areas of darkness and hopelessness is not because of any outstanding qualities of our own. It is because of who sustains us. When training for a marathon I run by many tree roots such as these.

These roots cannot be lifted by a shovel, these roots will not let the tree be pulled up by hand as I was able to do to the weeds. When you are involved in issues of the World that Jesus cares deeply about He is your root.



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