I started counting my Blessings: being a mother, enjoying a long and loving marriage, our healthy sons, and a purposeful life.
We’ve all experienced tragedies that we thought would follow us forever and stop the beating of our heart.
When Ryan was killed in the fire, my heart stopped and all I could see and hear was, “NOOOOO!”
There was no Blessing there on the frontage road in South Texas.
And it was emotionally exhausting to search for the Blessing.
It took me 14 years to get my ‘focus’ back.
But once I found it, it was like hitting a gusher.
I let it run down my face like oil and all the way down to my toes.
A record-breaking gusher of Blessings!
One big “Yes” overpowering the “NO!
I want to tell you the secret of how I found my big “YES!”
The Blessing that’s bigger than any Curse.
We’ll look together here next time.
I believe that death is basically random and most of us are simply caught in the crossfire.
Many of us are frozen in the right place but, at the wrong time.
They tell us that if we can just get to the right place we’ll be safe.
But you read about victims who are innocent bystanders.
“She didn’t mean to get in the way. But she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Here’s the thing, some think that God lies on his flat belly, taking potshots at us from a cloud.
We even say the death of those we love is the “Will of God.”
I’m saying, “ Corral your paranoia, God is Love. There’s no target on your back.”
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I believe that life is not selective and that all people, no matter who and where they are, are not singled out for disaster.
Think about Katrina in Louisiana or 9/11 in New York.
Are they SERIOUS when they call those disasters ‘‘acts of God’’?
When a disaster is so beyond explanation, ”It must be God-at-work.”
Think about it, we look at the destructive power of Nature, and we see that it’s out of control.
So we blame it on god. Even the insurance guys peddle protection against “acts of God.”
Do you really believe God singled out New Orleans and Manhattan?
Let me ask you a personal question.
Do you believe that God did and does all that chaos and damage, not to mention the killing?
Ryan’s roadside cross in Texas
I said it last week and I’m saying it again.
God’s is the first heart to break.
God’s is the first tear to fall.
To set the record straight, I don’t think that “punishment” is God’s M.O.
God’s great Heart overflows with love.
That has been believed again and again through the centuries.
After the accident, it got so frickin’ hard for me to steer clear of fear of the Wrath of God.
Like I needed to carry around a lightning rod.
It’s easy to think that when we do something wrong God is eager to punish us.
Why would we think that?
Because we think God is like us, and we are a punishing people!
Despite my battle scars, I have realized that God was not punishing Ron and me for something we’d done that caused Ryan’s death.
Underneath every tragic thing is “Original Love.”
To be continued…
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I’ve told you some of my deepest questions. Now I want to show you some of Hope’s answers:
– I no longer believe that God is punishing Ron and me for Ryan’s death.
— I no longer believe that God arranged our accident or any accident. God is LOVE.
–I believe that life is not selective. All people, whatever their color, creed, or cash are not singled out for disaster.
Trenton and Colton in Jaipur, India
-I believe that death is basically random and we are simply caught in the crossfire.
These are my blessings, and sometimes my curse.
I want us to unpack each of these gifts in the next few weeks.
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Pre-accident, I only knew God from a distance, more like a ‘sky-God.’
Many of us were taught how to pray to the ‘sky-God’ in heaven.
After the accident, I found God, or God found me, and I learned that prayer is conversational.
God had come to live in my heart, not in the sky.
As my Faith grew, I began to grow too.
I was given Wisdom, a spoonful at a time.
For instance, I realized that Ryan was a Gift given to me, not a Gift taken away.
From the beginning, I felt honored that God entrusted Ryan to me, but more than that, God entrusted himself to me in an intimate ‘horizontal’ relationship.
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One of 2 things happen when we decide to trust God:
It can blow our private world view apart, shaking the foundations of the world we live in and the world that lives in us. Sometimes it shoves us down under the rubble at our private ground zero, searching for any signs of life there.
2. Faith can gather together all our loose ends.
Funny how Faith is like Crazy Glue.
It holds everything together.
I know it seems like the coming of God into our lives would be a peaceful, easy thing.
But consider what Faith has blown apart in our lives.
For me, it was the old world I’d been living in. It was the world that was not working in my present life.
My adolescent Faith with an adolescent God was not working anymore.
Faith blew it apart and made a space for Grace.
Grace in the shape of an Accident.
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