Monday, August 23, 2010

Day 287 The Danger of Disappointment

Dear friends,

"We must accept disappointment but never lose infinite hope. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

What I feel compelled to write about today saddens me.

It came to my attention that there are folks out there, and I'm sure there are many more than I have heard about, who have been deeply wounded, indeed hurt with scars to show, by the failure of the church of Jesus Christ to act as it ought. In fact, the very powerful testimony of our family's experience of love and support in our darkest hour has poured salt on those wounds born by others in the family of God. There are those who have suffered under various heartaches and troubles, and no one has run to the rescue. No one has thrown a life line, or written a check, or offered a cup of coffee and a listening ear. Friends, this should not be so. For every person in pain there should be someone to care. For every lonely soul, there should be a friend. Every sick person should have a visitor. But we fail. We miss the mark. And because we do, there is a dagger where there ought to be a gauze. I was so sad today thinking of this tragic fact. Even sadder to know the times I myself have failed one in need. But the solution is not to wallow in our failures. The solution is to get before God and repent, which means, change direction.

I think because the car crash was such a visible, sizable disaster, it rallied the troops in a unique way. I have communicated over and over my inability to adequately express my gratitude for the outpouring of generosity we received on every conceivable front. But what about the day to day needs of the single mom, the struggling young couple, the wife of a man in jail? What about the man struggling with an unnameable sin, or the chronically ill college student, or the elderly lady without a ride to church? This is no guilt trip. None of us can meet all the needs out there. But what if we asked the Great One to show us one person with a need? What if we left a gift card for a pizza dinner in that single mother's door? What if we took the elderly lady to church once a month? What if we called the person who feels like an outcast? I think maybe if we only did what God shows us to do that day, many more people would feel a lot more loved. This is not the job of the pastor. This is too big a job for any one person. This takes an army of love, and as Pastor Greg pointed out in that kick butt sermon a few weeks ago, it requires a change in our priorities. I'm preaching real good right now to myself. I put two people on my "love them" list today, and I made those phone calls. You know what? I put them off for most of the day. But I did it. It's not my job to fix someone's life, but it most certainly is my job to love and encourage people. I'm working on changing the only person in my power to change. That would be ME. And that can only happen with the power of the Holy Spirit working in my life. That's why we need to ask God who it is we need to reach out to. He knows every unseen thing. He's the best director ever.

And for those who have been hurt, as all of us have, please don't give up and become bitter! Don't let the fact that it was done right for the Smith's make you angry. Ultimately people will let you down. Sometimes human beings get it right. Sometimes the circumstances are so dramatic we're shocked into getting it right. But as the book of James says so perfectly:

"We ALL stumble in MANY ways..."

My goal in my life is to love God and love people. I can't tell you how many times I've gotten it wrong. But I pray I will never give up the fight to get it right, so one less person feels like they are beaten and bloody, and no one cares. None of us can make it right for everyone. But all of us can make it better for someone. To those who feel forgotten or like they don't belong, it's a lie. Jesus says you do belong. And those of us who have failed you aren't Him. Hang on to your love for His people. We're all learning as we go...

"There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love." ~Martin Luther King Jr.

Your imperfect friend who wishes she wasn't on the pilgrim road,


P.S. Check out the side line on the blog. Please email me if you are coming to the dessert night. I am going to try to get a count by September 30. Details are there on the side.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for reminding me what I already know but too easily forget or put on the back burner.

Another anonymous

Anonymous said...

Our family felt stabbed by the church and we retreated but seeing how the church rallied for the Smiths made us open our eyes and turn back to people we knew.

a small thing God has used for good.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I have let bitterness creep in my heart and now I feel very alone and isolated, even when I am around the body of Christ. I have tried to “love” my way out of this stronghold (by taking care of others in need) but kindness seems to be slipping out of my heart. The cry of my heart is to be able to love again and receive love. (The second part is the hardest right now…)
Thank you for your heart! I can not tell you how much I love you and your family!

johandav said...

Thanks to all of you for your heartfelt comments. I am humbled and grateful for your honesty.


Anonymous said...

If you weren't on this pilgrim road, where would you be?

This pilgrim road is the safest road and the only road home.

We meet many people on this pilgrim road. Sometimes people hurt us and sometimes we hurt people. Some hurts come intentionally and others come unintentionally. Sometimes people have no idea they have hurt us and sometimes we have no idea that we have hurt someone.

God is the only one who can heal these hurts and he uses imperfect people to help others to heal.

God loves us all and all of us - including our good, bad, and ugly.

Love more. Forget to judge.

If you've been hurt, forgive. Ask God to heal your hurt.

He may heal your hurt directly or he may send someone to help you.

Because we are all imperfect, the first person He sends may pass you by and not even see you. The second one might stop, pat your hand, and go on their way - unable to give you the help you need. The third one might kick dirt in your face. It may be the fourth, fifth, the sixth, or even the seventh person who can love you in the way that you need to be loved and help you to become whole again.

If you keep asking, God will keep sending. Keep asking.

We love you.

Lorraine & Ernie

Anonymous said...

I just joined your blog and am so moved by all that you write. I'm glad you enjoyed the house at the Cape. We all have such good memories there.
Corinne A