11 years.

 

chris-peru

Christopher R. Moulton 

Leader, loyal, committed, compassionate, sincere.

~~~

There is a place deep in God’s heart that understands.

When others speak what they know not of, God speaks louder and comforts my broken heart.

 

care.

I’ve always been drawn to the obscure.

Like the gal who works at Walmart, embarrassed by the eczema that covers every inch of her not covered by her blue uniform top with the sunny yellow symbol.

This day she was putting mums out on a table outside. I smiled and said hi. Not the kind of rote hi-how-are-you-nice-day greeting so many say.

But the I really care kind.

I’ve chatted briefly with her at the register, but not enough for her to necessarily recognize me.

She did, however, give me the Walmart greeting.

“Ohh I’m great now that the humidity is gone,” I said spreading out my arms looking into the sky.

“I’d rather have hot,” she replied. “Because when it cools off I know what’s coming (winter)”.

So we talked about the mums and then her face lit up as she told me I could find some huge multi color ones inside.

She let her guard down. It was a nice conversation and I thought how nice it would be to have her for a friend.

I wasn’t always like this.

I’ve always put other people first but I was very busy with my own responsibilities along with a dash of assuming rejection to bother with too much friendliness.

Life is different now and taking the time with a stranger feels very good.

There are so many people that are ignored, neglected, and disregarded.

And I don’t think, I know, this is who God sees, too.

I know because he talks about them all the time in the Bible.

God makes a point of resisting the arrogant, prideful and conceited who, for whatever reason, think they are better than others. The kind of people who assume too much and often give lip service but little action to back up their words.

If you are someone who fits the description of feeling like an outcast, just hang on to the truth of what God says.

Not what others have said.

Not what you think.

What God says.

It’s comforting.

comfort

Photo credit: Elizabeth Haslam / Photo / CC BY-NC

 

 

the truth shall set you free.

Since losing Christopher, there have been small markers along the way which have helped me to live with such deep sorrow and loss.

If you’re a mother, you know what I mean. A piece of my heart is missing. I know it. I feel it.

I know God sees it, too.

Eleven years later, he still whispers truths to me that open my eyes to greater understanding.

The truth shall set you free.

It doesn’t put the missing piece back in my heart, but it helps my mind.

There are things that do not occur to us. We just don’t know everything.

Here is an excerpt from a book I am reading, Walking With God Through Pain and Suffering by Timothy Keller. It was a truth God showed me some years ago and reading it only solidified it in my mind.

(I did not begin reading all kinds of books on grieving and suffering after Chris’ death. I took the position of letting God “lead” me. Reading would have been a kind of mission for me and it would have only complicated my already overwhelmed mind.)

” … … the meaning of life in our Western society is individual freedom. There is no higher good than the right and freedom to decide for yourself what you think is good. But if the meaning of life is individual freedom and happiness, then suffering is of no possible “use”. In this worldview, the only thing to do with suffering is to avoid it at all costs, or, if it unavoidable, manage and minimize the emotions of pain and discomfort as much as possible.” 

Isn’t it true? We try to manage or minimize the emotions of pain and discomfort as much as possible. Mostly because of other people who expect us to be who we were.

Heck, even we want to be who we were until we figure out we can’t do it.

And if we aren’t doing it to ourselves, others are doing it for us. Even the distance so many feel from friends and family is a form of managing or minimizing the discomfort.

Why?

In the Western world especially, but not exclusively, (because of the great strides of progress and readily available solutions throughout all the world), we fail miserably at understanding grief.

Because it takes time.

There are no quick fixes.

And that good ol’ American spirit just doesn’t jive with suffering.

God wired us to handle suffering.

And he promised to walk through it with us.

Let truth set you free.

 

sad

 

~~~

 

waiting patiently.

It’s normal for us to ask where God is when we are grieving.

We question if he even exists.

We question all the things we’re told: how much he loves us, how he is with us, how he cares.

It doesn’t feel like it, does it?

It isn’t easy to not have all the answers. Especially if you live in a wealthy, productive, and successful part of the world.

We are conditioned for impatience.

Death is one thing we cannot control. We have to accept it. But we are wired to have hope and faith – to believe beyond death.

The Bible says this: He [God] has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

Thing is, it’s normal to close off that part of our heart when we come face to face with tragedy. It’s because we are protecting ourselves.

In time, we will open up, little by little, as God whispers truths of comfort into our broken hearts.

In other words, there is no quick fix. It takes time. God is there, helping us through the time it takes.

Throughout the Bible, God tells us we need patience.

But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

There is nothing to do but believe.

There is nothing to do but wait.

If we keep wrestling, we’ll become exhausted.

Body, soul, and spirit exhausted.

God will help you be patient.

wait

Photo credit: MasterBi Photography via Foter.com / CC BY-NC

God is not an American.

“Sociologists and anthropologists have analyzed and compared the various ways that cultures train its members for grief, pain, and loss. And when this comparison is done, it is often that our own contemporary secular, Western culture is one of the weakest and worst in history at doing so.”

Walking with God through Pain and Suffering – Timothy Keller

When you’ve felt the deepest sorrow in the world, you want answers.

There are times when we won’t get all the answers.

But the statement above gave me a good answer. Because we often wonder why we feel so isolated from others when we are suffering; particularly in the death of a child.

Americans aren’t always right. Sometimes we think we are in how we view things.

Our culture is all about rising above it, staying the course, being victorious.

Thing is, putting this first, without allowing the process of grieving, those things only hinder. The grieving condition is denied when the griever is expected to put a smile on their face and get back in the saddle of life again, looking the part everyone wants them to play.

The American way. 

Except, God is not an American.

The depth of sorrow we feel will be the depth of answers we need.

We won’t get all the answers. But at least we will get some. And I believe God gives us those answers along the way when we need them.

It doesn’t fix it, but it validates the pain.

one

history makers.

Today, this will speak to a specific group of people.

You know who you are.

These are the 25-30 somethings. Those who rode the wave of church meetings, events, and sermons when being a history maker was at its pinnacle.

Please don’t misunderstand. I know the Bible is very clear about our influence and impact on the world. We are truly lights to a dark world.

But there isn’t enough room on the stage for everyone.

I won’t apologize for always seeing the one no one else is noticing. Either they didn’t have the tenacity they were supposed to have or they didn’t have the commitment they were supposed to have (as defined by those who define such things), they got lost in the shuffle.

I love, love, love how Jesus always saw the one who was lost in the shuffle. See, those who have “made it” automatically think they did it right and so should you. They become the definers, the judges and jury, by very virtue of their attainment, of who is acceptable and who is not.

And so the lost-in-the-shuffles are further discouraged because they were not picked.

I am here to tell you this: God picks you.

The meetings, the conferences, the events – they all went too far. The history maker theme seemed to carve out a select few. If you didn’t fit the description, well then, were you a true history maker?

Were you trying hard enough?

Were you doing all the right things?

Seems contrary to the gospel.

Yes, you were and still are a history maker. The fumbling over the right words to tell your co-worker about your faith, the flowers you picked for your neighbor, the compliment you gave the cashier …  is the cup of water Jesus spoke about.

When no one else noticed it, God did.

And that is all that matters.

a-glass-of-water

Photo credit: [cipher] via Foter.com / CC BY-SA