May 26, 2011

So, its been an emotional week around here for me. The sermon on Sunday shook me.

Imagine yourself as an 8 year old. You live in public housing with your younger siblings. All you have known in your life is insecurity and inconsistency. One morning you wake up to find that your mother has abandoned you all.

That is the story of a little girl who walked into the Martha O’Bryan center with two empty 2-liter bottles. She had no food, and no electricity. She came seeking water.

As I heard those words, my stomach sank. Tears began streaming down my face as I sat in the sanctuary surrounded by coats and ties, beautiful necklaces and expensive perfumes. I didn’t feel guilty; I just felt SICK.

“She didn’t CHOOSE this.”

She could have been ME. (I could have been her…) And by what seems the luck of the draw, our souls were placed in bodies raised with completely different circumstances. The resounding question that I can’t let go of is “why?” Why am I so blessed to have not only running water and electricity but a family who loves and supports me? Why did she get cast with a mother who left her? I had an easier road…simply because of….??????

In the wake of these most recent tornadoes, I find that while we may be born into different circumstances, a swirling wind does not discriminate…. mansions AND public housing are destroyed in the same 1/2 mile radius. We are all subject to homelessness. We are all subject to abandonment and loneliness.

What if it were YOU?

In this economy, any of us can lose our job. In these natural disasters, any of us can lose our home. We can lose the ones we love most in a car accident tonight. The stock market has already robbed many of us of our “nest eggs” for retirement. In other words, our safety and security lies NOWHERE tangible. Money can’t buy back the life of a loved one that was taken. Hard work can’t recreate the memories a flood washes away. A change in your attitude can’t erase the fact that your mother abandoned you and left you to figure out how to survive. These are realities for people all around us…It is only by chance that we have not yet landed in their shoes.

This is the part that might leave you disturbed because I have no “great words” that will leave us happily moving on our merry ways after reading. (Sorry to be Debbie Downer) In some ways, though, this is a good thing. See, because we are human, we want answers. No one likes the unknown. Frankly, its uncomfortable. But what we fail to acknowledge is that its in this unknown while we are uncomfortable that we truly grow in character and in faith. If we know all the answers and we know no pain and suffering, then why would we need God to be our protector, healer, and comforter?

I can’t grasp why I was placed in the family I was born into. I hate battling guilt against thankfulness for the blessing of my life as I’ve known it. I have no clue how our gracious and loving God could stand seeing His innocent children abandoned by the only person charged to love them. And I have no justification that can leave me feeling “settled” after hearing stories like these. Its all gray. Its all uncomfortable. The only “knowns” I have are faith-driven. God is all loving, all powerful and EVER compassionate. Most importantly He’s here, He’s listening and He’s answering…

It was His hands that lead the little girl toward help.

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2 Comments to answerless

  1. I have always thought in this way. It could perhaps explain why I am so nice to those who are mean to me, or why people sometimes call me a “brown noser” I don’t suck up to people, I help them. I help those who are put in front of me in need. I have always been that way and have always been soooo fortunate to have parents like you who loved me, and took wonderful care of me. I am truly of the thankful. I am in a position where I can have everything taken out from under me. Not so fun to be in. But what gets me through the day is the second I hear my phone ring and I see the name “Chris Early” come up on the screen, and I realize, nothing in the world could EVER come close to replacing the love and memories I have with him/for him. I am truly thankful for having a husband who takes care of me, and makes sure I’m okay and would never treat me like dirt or be unfaithful. With todays days, it seems more common for people to divorce. No one marries because they met that one person who makes them have butterflies in their stomach when they are near, stutter when they want to talk to them, or in the most intimate moments shake because they are so happy they are nervous! They just say, “oh its my first marriage, I can always get a divorce.” But what people don’t seem to understand is divorce is so serious, its the act of a family falling apart, two people giving up on one another, and is the prime example of two people who just didn’t take the time they needed before entering into the bonds of marriage. We are a rare set of people, we’ve both grown up in healthy homes of marriage, and were completely surrounded by love. Unfortunately, there are broken homes who are really in need of guidance. Recent polls will tell you that a child born into a broken home will more than likely have marital problems or be so insecure with themselves they find themselves depending on their own children and family for support, or worse drugs and alcohol. Just terrible.

    The one thing I can say is when you see someone who’s in need like that young girl whose parents abandoned her because their life was so hard they couldn’t handle there actions and had a child. Pathetic to the mother, terrible life to that child. But remember, you are the lucky one, so help when you can, encourage when you can, and always remember anything is possible. Never take life for granted.
    We are all human. We are all emotional, and whether we decide to show it thats our option. Keep blogging Elizabeth.

    Love you,

  2. Thank you for sharing, Vic. Love you too!

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