Saturday, March 27, 2021

 There is a large sense of loss today. Headlines seem to focus on just promoting more division between people. That is a sad loss because I truly believe there are more people in this world that care for others more than the hatred that is being pushed by media. It is difficult to watch all the loss and the impact it has had on lives and livelihoods. I have talked with disappointed and struggling families that just see no hope, kids who feel their life is pointless, and a whole lot of anger between family members. The balance of keeping my faith to myself but offer counseling that give families answers to their pain can be overwhelming because I feel for these families. Fear is still a stronghold that limits students’ options to take a job, take a state test, be in a classroom, or just a walk outdoors. Parents love their kids and want to keep them safe, but it can smother the life out of kids who need more than just an online communication. I get a lot of “I miss” or “I wish I could” or “I’m so isolated.” When do families get back to living when they are constantly told if they leave their homes death is the only outcome. “Getting back to normal” has become a hardship. It is frustrating when I feel helpless to walk families back from a brink I don’t fully understand. I thought about keeping my own son safe when this pandemic was in full lock down, but I had to live out my own faith by letting him keep working through out this past year. I found that going into the building to work was a sense of relief and freedom. That is not true for many people and that is a sad sense of loss.

Our pastor has done a series on how we fight our battles and I thought about it is true for the whole human race. Each of us can choose to run, hide out, or be bold enough to enter the battles we encounter in our lives. When I think of a battle I envision it being physical, but today I see it being a spiritual one. I know that I need to be around a community of faith. The Theology classes I am taking really ignites that passion for his word as it replenishes my soul. I need it as I encounter desperate needs of families I haven’t seen before. I feel for these young people who may carry around the junk of the past year around them into their future’s for a very long time. My prayer is that they don’t drag all those negative emotions around with them as it kills their spirit. A lot of animosity and rejection happening all around us. Masks not just covering up our faces but masking a fake “I am fine.”
A story that stuck out to me recently was from an elderly person who stated “I don’t live by the headlines, but I write my own headlines.” He meant that each day he finds one moment that is his stand out moment of the day. It could be big or it could be small like “Man brings groceries to elderly neighbor” or “Man talked to a teenager about the beautiful weather.” Wouldn’t it be nice to read more and more kind stories and connections we have missed out in the past year? The challenge was to take one moment in your day and that is your headline of the day. Can you imagine how impacting it would be to reflect on 365 make your own headline year. I am going to try this myself staring April 1st. Let’s see how it goes and how much God can impact us and others around us each day. Today here is my practice headline:
Tanya responds to her Theology class discussion question about the reason the Gospel of John is so important; she shares it so others will be comforted and believe:
The Gospel of John is not included in the synoptic gospels because the perspective is different. They focused on God's kingdom, but John's doesn't mention his kingdom, but focuses on Jesus being the way to eternal life. John was a historian and theologian who brought the story of Jesus to his readers so they would not see his death on the cross as a tragedy, but a place of glory where new life flows to everyone who believes in him. He wanted his audience to elicit belief that Jesus is the son of God who came to live, die and his resurrection paid the price for sin so whoever believes in him will receive the gift of eternal life. This is the foundation of the Christian faith. John 3:16 is a key verse as it states “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” The vantage point of Jesus shifts because John is part of the inner circle of Jesus so his gospel is intimate as he saw himself through the eyes of Jesus. As Christians, when we believe we do the same. We see Jesus as a sacrifice who came to save not only our soul, but the whole world. John was named "the disciple whom Jesus loved" because of his transformation from being arrogant to humble. When we read the Gospel of John we can see his transformation just as we see the transformation in ourselves when we gain that intimate relationship with Jesus.
My prayer is that families can move forward and not stay in the past of confinement. I pray that healing will happen and the burden of life will be lightened and burdens removed to give space for people to grow and encourage each other. Just to be a kinder with each other and through in a little bit of patience. May opportunities open to gather and appreciate time together. May the fears we have not hinder our lives. May the hope we have in each other reflect that what we know of Jesus this week and just be thankful for all he did on the cross for us all.
Heard a new song this week by Ryan Stevenson call “When We Fall Apart” which is about losing a loved one and missing that person that it takes your breath away. A lot of loss out there so hope this song allows you let go and just feel:
Sometimes the only way to heal a broken heart
Is when we fall apart
God Bless you everyday,

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