Tuesday, August 24, 2010

But God. . .

Often, when I read the newspaper or watch the news or simply drive through my neighborhood, I feel like I'm drowning in a sea of brokenness and despair. The temptation in those moments is to avert my eyes and try to isolate myself from "the other", to retreat into a "safe" enclave of my own making. That's not me, after all. What's wrong with those people?!

But to do that is to accept two lies. One, that I'm not implicated in the broken condition of our world. That I'm not also a sinner in desperate need of God's grace. And two, that I have nothing to offer to those at the end of their rope, to those who do the unthinkable. Accepting those two lies would be to reject everything Jesus said and did. The truth is -- there but for the grace of God go I (Ephesians 2:1-10).

I was reminded of this while reading blogger Jody (Valenzuela) Luck's uncommonly honest reflections on two recent news stories. She begins:

This week I saw two bits in the news that broke my heart. One mother who killed her own two little children and one father who killed his baby, pregnant wife, and then himself.

When I see these kinds of stories, they seem to work themselves into my heart and mind and linger with me for quite a while. The more life I experience, the more I wonder about the true back-stories on these situations. Who were they? What little “life thing” was it that piled on top of all the big “life things” that finally caused them to go past the point of no return in their utter hopelessness?

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