“I call on the Lord in my distress and He answers me…….” Psalm 118:1
Let any words that do not encourage you upward–toward freedom from this world–be put far from you. They are shameful, they are criminal. Defend yourself from these words by being steadfast in prayer. Cry out to your God, who is your shield: Deliver my soul from treacherous tongues.” Homilies on the Psalms” Augustine
My thoughts are scattered today. I am trying to help my dear friend out of the shadows. Trying to make sense out of something that makes no sense at all. Trying to help her see daylight through a forest that refuses to yield its light. I have traveled through the shadow lands myself and that is why it is so painful to watch. I recognize the paralyzing fear that colors everything. Fear that makes it impossible to move, that makes you look forward to a day off so you can just sit alone and cry, and that makes you angry.
Angry that someone has the power to do that to you……to throw their blackness, their lies, their misery onto you. Especially since you have cared for them, shined the light of your kindness on them for years. Angry and sad because you thought that fear was gone forever…..buried deep, resting in peace. You even had a funeral for it all those years ago, but now circumstances have pulled it up out of the grave, resurrecting old feelings.
Behind the anger, sinking like a small stone at the bottom of your heart there settles grief, for things have changed and they will not be the same again. For that, you grieve. But here is the reality that is true despite everything we feel……The fears, anger and grief were and remain buried with Christ forever. Not only were they buried for good, everything that resembles death was done away with when He rose again. No one and nothing can ever snatch that away from us. Though they are part of our reality now, they have no power over us, they can never again destroy us.
And I know one thing…….about blackness and forests and lands of shadow……they don’t last forever. Mine didn’t and neither will hers, or yours, or mine. I know another thing too, that my own times of darkness can help someone else out of theirs. I can say this with full confidence because I know who My deliverer is. Malachi 4:2 “But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.”
Each moment of the year has its own beauty . . . a picture which was never before and shall never be seen again.- Ralph Waldo Emerson