Saturday, December 7, 2013
Winter Is Not Forever
Wow, It's been a shamefully LONG time since I've posted anything here. As I'm a habitual abuser of the confines of Facebook with my lengthy status updates, maybe I should remember that I actually have a blog page! Moving on... There are times when particular themes or thoughts literally plague me until I exercise them via written expression, and I've arrived in that familiar place again. This time, the topic would be loss. Aside from personal loss, there have been a number of visible people who have crossed over in the past 7 days. It leads me to evaluate the clustered timing of such events for 2 of them specifically. I'm going to take the mask off and tell you why these things are floating around in my mind. Bear with me though, and allow me to seat you on my train of thought. It will be a relatively short journey. All aboard!! (insert obnoxious whistle) When I was in Bible College, I was afforded amazing opportunities to "see behind the curtain". Yet in that same time, great wounds were inflicted - by others, by situations, and even by my own hand. Shocker, right? Suffice it to say, I left with a limp in my walk.(I say this in the spirit of transparency - not judgment or regret. Quite the opposite in fact, I actually treasure the time, lessons learned, and the people I have been eternally knitted to.) Fast forward another 10 years, and feelings that were obviously suppressed, came to the surface with the help of an OUT-OF-CONTROL group for alumni. I say this laughingly, because it was not all bad, and most of the stories shared were hilarious. But then the teeth came out...stories of pain, bitterness, rejection, wrongs endured, etc. One constant though, was a handful of instructors who cared enough to see through situations and care for people. No agendas, just care. Well, when one of those instructors died in a sudden and tragic motorcycle accident, it sent shock waves through the said community. No one could believe that this man who had been a mentor to hundreds, and walked every day out in love, was actually gone. His funeral was aired online, and many of us viewed it together. One screen was the funeral, and the other was our page where we consoled each other. But then the most amazing thing transpired, it was like someone flipped a switch and my life was changed in an instant - again. A man was being placed into the ground like a seed. That seed was going to grow, and a harvest of closure and healing was his final gift. A gift he was going to reap an eternal reward for, even though his earthly walk had ended. There was such a reverenced thanksgiving for his life, and the things he had done. The spirit of thanksgiving gave way to a beautiful worship experience, and waves of love washed over everyone. Myself included. And like magic, every negative feeling, thought, or emotion from my time in Ohio was gone. Still gone. They won't come back. Now consider the passing of Dr. Paul Crouch, and then Nelson Mandela. While they were leagues apart in their lives' work and experiences, the lasting effects of what they accomplished will echo throughout the ages. Both of them will be returned to the ground as seeds, and then a window for harvest opens. One for mass evangelism, and the other for freedom and equality. I cannot think of a better combination. So as I'm letting you all off the train now, I challenge you to be aware of the season we're standing in. Yes, it's winter. But winter will not last forever. Have some of us been cut down along the way? Yes. Have we found ourselves in dry places? Yes. Are there others in need of solace and restoration? Yes. Well, I have come to tell you that spring is on the way. Will it arrive overnight? It's possible. We will reap where we have not sown, and when the mere scent of water brings new life, that says anything is possible. Dreams don't have to die. Lost things can be returned. Hope does not have to be abandoned!! So dream, friends. Dream big. Job. 14:7-9 “At least there is hope for a tree: If it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail. 8 Its roots may grow old in the ground and its stump die in the soil, 9 yet at the scent of water it will bud and put forth shoots like a plant."