Friday, February 26, 2016


I awakened this morning rehearsing in my mind some painful encounters of a woman we will call Jane.  As I hit replay regarding her drastic moments of suffering and anguish, it occurred to me that Jane's story might help you approach your day with a lighter heart.

You see while sitting in my office one afternoon I received a call from the Highway Patrol asking if I would come to Jane's house so that the patrolman and I could break the news to her of her husband's fatal crash just down the road a piece.  As I sat in the squad car I was handed the victims Bible (which had the church's name in it) battered and blood-soaked.

Soon Jane arrived.  Her face paled as the officer and I approached.  He most carefully explained the scenario and then left.  Jane and I were in shock; especially her of course.  So I stayed until relatives could arrive within the hour.  I helped vacuum, fold clothes, and mainly serve as some sort of anchor for her exploding emotions.

It was just a few years later that this brave woman called early one evening.  In deliberate cadence she explained that she needed me to come to her parents' house about forty-five minutes away.  She was with her mom and the she described...was too horrendous.

Her dad had become overwhelmed with anger toward a neighbor just across the driveway.  He shot and killed the neighbor man and two of the neighbor's friends....and then turned the gun on himself.  Chris Jones and I rushed to the scene. It was stark; extremely numbing.

Chris and I visited with this young widow and now her widowed mother.  The moment was eerie and stunning.  After a bit Chris and I dared to knock on the neighbor's door. By now a flood of friends were scattered throughout their house and in the yard.  The horror of it all could never be measured.  Words seemed empty.  Hugs felt meaningless.  Death had occurred in its starkest display.

That's an odd story to find roaming my mind when I awakened this morning.  I hadn't thought of this in detail in all these years.  But it made me think about you.  Thus, the reason I even tell this story.

When you are overwhelmed--or will be--know that God has your back.  Brutality and loneliness and disorientation roam our streets and our countryside.  Be attentive to one another because some of our moments are unbearable...and even un-hold-up-able.

Too, I wish to encourage those readers who tend to make a mountain of trouble over very little when, in reality, you don't know deep and rugged discouragement.  The car battery going dead or the washing machine needing repair is not the end of the world.  Don't allow matters of this dimension drive your day.

Everywhere you turn be certain that God has encountered the depths of pain through His Son on the cross that He might better understand the load you carry.  You.  Will.  Make.  It..

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