Posted by: kathyhugs | January 9, 2010

to be added to later…

I will complete this blog on Monday evening when I have definite news I am able to share. For right now I need your prayers for several things:

Please pray for Lynn as he prepares to make decisions and he continues to communicate with us. This man is a gift sent to us from God. He is a just and godly man who I trust and I can even call my friend. He has a job that God has called him to do, which I would not want. Please pray for wisdom and peace for him.

Please pray for Rick, Sean and I as we wait for news. Please pray for peace and calmness and God’s strength.

Please pray for our families as they wait to hear from us.

I want to share something that I have been writing this morning. It won’t be complete today but a work in process. It is long and it is from the depths of my heart. Thank you for your love and prayers!

Isaiah 43

1 But now, this is what the LORD says—
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.

I picked up the book “The Shack” and reread chapter 11, “Here Comes Da Judge”.  It is one of my favorite chapters in the book. The comments in the parentheses are mine!

The first question asked is: which of your children do you love the most?  My response as well as Mack’s response is “I love my children equally but in a unique way with each of them”.

The next question that struck me was, When they don’t behave or they make choices other than those you want them to make then does that affect your love of them? Mack’s response was “It doesn’t really, I admit that it affects me BUT  THEY ARE  STILL  MY  CHILDREN!”(Amen, they are unique and each adds something to my life that is just between us. No more, no less, just unique!)

Mack then admits that he does not love others in that same way. He is told that he has made the start to learn how to love like God and that he didn’t get to where he is on his own and that it would be with God’s help that he would change and grow in his ability to love others.

He is then told that he has been given the chance to be the judge and that he will be judging God and the entire human race. Mack protests that he doesn’t know how to judge and that he doesn’t want to. He is reminded of the times he has judged others on their actions and their motivations, even on the color of their skin, their body odor and their body language. He becomes ashamed of himself.  (I am also reminded of the times I have judged others by commenting on their shortcomings.)

Then Mack is asked this: “Surely there are many people in your world you think deserve judgment. There must be at least a few who are to blame for so much of the pain and suffering….What about the men who beat their wives? What about the fathers who beat their children?  (What about the mothers who emotionally abandon their children?) Don’t they deserve judgment? What about the man who preys upon young children? What about him? IS he guilty?”

Mack screams: Yes! Damn him to hell!

He is asked: “Is he to blame for your loss?”

Yes!

What about his father, the man who twisted his son into a terror, what about him?

Yes! Him too!

How far do we go back? The legacy of brokenness goes all the way back to Adam – what about him? Why stop there? What about God? Is God to blame? Isn’t this where you are stuck? Isn’t this what fuels the great sadness? That God cannot be trusted? Surely a father like you can judge The Father! Isn’t that your just complaint? That God failed you and that he failed your daughter? Isn’t God to blame? (I have been there and back again. It is not a journey that I have completed yet but I grow in my understanding and acceptance daily).

Mack: Yes! God is to blame!

Then if you are able to judge God so easily then you can judge the world! You must choose 2 of your children to spend eternity with God, but only 2. And you must choose three of your children to spend eternity in hell! I am asking you to do something that you believe God does. He knows EVERY person ever conceived, and he knows them much more deeply and clearly than you will ever know your own children. He loves EACH one according to his knowledge of the being of that son or daughter. You believe he will condemn most to an eternity of torment away from his presence and apart from his love. Is that not true?

I suppose I do. I’ve just never thought about it like this. I just assumed that somehow God could do that. Talking about hell was always sort of an abstract conversation…Not about anyone I truly cared about.

So you suppose that God can do this easily but you cannot? Which of your three children will you sentence to hell? You are the judge and you must choose.

I don’t want to be the judge. How could God ask me to choose among his own children? There was no way he could sentence his daughter or any of his children to an eternity in hell just because they had sinned against him! Even if one of them had committed some heinous crime against him he still wouldn’t do it! He couldn’t! For him, it wasn’t about their performance; it was about his love for them. (Love doesn’t stop  when a sin or a crime is committed!) I can’t do this.

You must!

I can’t do this!

You must.

I …will… not…do…this! Mack yelled.

You must.

I can’t! I can’t! I won’t!   He finally pleads, Could I go instead? If you need someone to torture for eternity, I’ll go in there place. Would that work? Could I do that? Begging he falls to his knees. Please let me go for my children. Please I would be happy to… Please I am begging you. Please….Please…(If I could take the punishment for my children, if I could take the hurt and the pain, I would, if I could have taken the bullet, I would!)

Mack you have judged well. Now you sound like Jesus. I am so proud of you.

But I haven’t judged anything.

But you have. You have judged them worthy of love, even if it costs you everything!

(I would die so they could live, I would cut my heart out to keep them from hurt. Jesus did this for me! For you. For EVERY SINGLE PERSON ON THIS EARTH).

But the conversation doesn’t end there!! Mack still is angry and he has more questions.

God didn’t stop it!

No, God doesn’t stop a lot of things that cause pain. Your world is severely broken. You demand your independence and now you are angry with the one who gave it to you! Nothing is as it should be, as Papa desires it to be and as it WILL BE one day. Right now your world is lost in darkness and in chaos and horrible things happen to those that God is especially fond of.

Then why doesn’t God do something about it?

God already has…

You mean what Jesus did?

How could God…..

For Love…God chose the way of the cross, where mercy triumphs over justice because of love. Would you prefer that God chose justice for everyone? Do you want justice? (I deserve justice. I am a sinner. But I don’t want justice. Please grant me mercy and compassion).

No I don’t. Not for me and not for my children. But I still don’t understand why Missy (my daughter) had to die.

She didn’t have to. God has never needed evil to accomplish good purposes. It is humans who have embraced evil and God who has responded with goodness. What happened to Missy was evil and no one in your world is immune to it.

But it hurts so much. (My heart has been torn apart and bleeding from the wounds). There must be a better way.

There is. You just can’t see it now. Return from your independence. Give up being the judge and know God for who he truly is. Then you will be able to embrace God’s love in the midst of your pain, instead of pushing it away with your self-centered belief of how you think the universe should be. Papa has crawled inside of your world to be with you, to be with Missy.

I don’t want to be the judge anymore. I really do want to trust God. But I’ll need help.

My final thought for today: God came into this world to walk with me during the darkest times. He chose to be my father and allowed me to accept him or not. I made my choice. I chose God. This allows me to trust. Trust that he is in control. Trust that he is smarter than I am. Trust that HE IS LOVE! I am not. I want to love like God loves. I want to love the world. I want to hug the world. I want to be able to love JC, Dr. Amato, James Hartford, Chris Amato, Nick Amato. I am not there yet but I really do want to trust God even with this. But I’ll need help. What I understand is that I am not alone. God has “crawled into the world to be with me!” I will never walk alone, he carries me!

Until Monday! I love you!

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