Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Thoughts About the Last Few Days

Have you ever had a period of time that hits you like a tornado with it's ferocity and leaves you feeling wind-whipped and disheveled after it's over? Well, that was my last week. It was such a hard one on so many levels.

It started with the sudden and tragic death of my precious sister-friend's Dad on the eve of Easter Sunday. It was a car accident that was caused by someone who was probably abusing some substance which makes it all the more difficult. He was such a Godly, wonderful man and it was proven by the sheer number of people who came to pay their respects. If only we could all leave a legacy like that.

The hardest part of it all, though, is watching my friend and her family suffer. As I type, I have her precious children all sound asleep in various places around the house because they spent the night with us last night. They have been through so much in such a short period of time. It's hard to see it on their sweet, innocent faces.

I have several other friends and family members that are dealing with incredibly difficult things that erupted last week, too. Out of respect for their collective privacy, I won't share, but it's some seriously TOUGH stuff, folks, and all I can do is be there for them and pray my head off. I hate it when my loved ones are hurting. The only comfort I take is that I know God will use it for their good in ways that only He can orchestrate. What a blessing it is to be His child because we can rest assured that even the really, really hard places are never in vain.

On a personal note...and I must tread lightly here... I had a "critic" make their voice known behind my back last week in the midst of everything else. Things like that always punch me in the gut especially when it's not meant for any kind of constructiveness, but pure maliciousness. My skin is definitely tougher than it used to be, but I'm human and I certainly have to deal with the hurt and even anger that I inevitably face afterward.

I'm trying to let it serve as a reminder to ME that when we are image-bearers of Christ, we are called to love in His name. Part of that love is kindness and protection (1 Cor. 13:7), which I believe means protecting the name and certainly the confidences of others. Why are we, as Christians, so easily loose with their tongues when it comes to other brothers and sisters? Do we not know the destruction it causes? James 3 tells us that for such a little part of the body, it has the ability to corrupt the whole thing!

We've all been the recipient of the hurt from a person's careless words, so why do we not realize that this is exactly the way it makes others feel when we are tempted to do it ourselves? Are we that harsh that we don't care? If that's the case, it's so NOT ok... that's a major heart problem.

We're supposed to love others the way we love ourselves. So I ask, would we hurt ourselves the way we hurt others with our judgement and criticism? Probably not. We usually wind up giving more grace and understanding to ourselves than to anybody else.

Finally, how does our gossip or maliciousness or backbiting make us look any different from the world? How does this bring honor and glory to the Lord at all? Of course, it doesn't. It has the opposite affect. It causes people not to trust us. Not to trust the Church. There is no telling how many people have walked away from a Christian whose words crossed the explicit boundaries that the Bible gives us with a skewed view of the Father. How incredibly, horribly tragic.

Please don't take this as a post from someone who's been jaded and then went on to rant. It's something God has been showing me for a long time. It's something He knows I've failed at many, many times myself. Yet, it's something that I absolutely had to get out this time. I hope God will bring it to mind every single time I'm tempted to not protect in Christ's love.

Redeem the time, friends,


Mocha with Linda said...

I'm so sad for all you're going through. You've made some wonderful points about the importance of our words being sweet.

Speaking of the tongue, the word verification for this comment is "disher". May I never be a disher of gossip! LOL

I just came across a book and posted about it today that might be an encouragement to your friends and family who are struggling.

EEEEMommy said...

You hit the nail on the head when you spoke of us being "image bearers." If we as believers would walk in that so much ugliness could be avoided!
I'll be praying for your friends.

Grace and Peace,

Halfmoon Girl said...

It is hard to see loved ones suffer, and to deal with people saying malicious, unhelpful things about us. Will be praying for you. Thank you for the reminder to clamp my own lips shut at times.

Caroline said...

I'll be praying for you, sweet friend, while I lay here recovering. Sorry you are having such a rough week. And for that person that hurt you...I'll punch their lights out when I am up to it. jk (hehe)

Emily said...

You said it best when you said, "hurt by careless words'. That's usually what it is. It's just some dumb lady. (often me) who spouts of something and then cringes about it later when she realizes it came off wrong.

and so sorry about your trials of late. It seems like God's given me such a break lately that I'm waiting for it all to hit again.

last year was tough for you and I. This year is going to be a terrific summer for us.

beyond this moment said...

I'm so sorry for all you and your loved ones are going through... life seems to heap things on top of each other instead of one at a time. Each one alone would be hard enough.

Somehow gossip and back-stabbing make difficult times 100% worse, don't they? Why are Christians so cruel to each other?

Joanne@ Blessed... said...

What a heartbreaking thing to happen. Praying for your friend's family.

And with the backbiting...that is a tough pill to swallow, no matter how old I am.

I'm having one of those kind of weeks myself.

Linda said...

love this heart of yours and this beautiful and inspiring post full of loving truth! sticks and stones...they do hurt!!!

connorcolesmom said...

I am so sorry for your friend's loss - I know that is devastating
You are a good friend!!
Also whoever said something ugly about you is just plain rude!
And obviously does not know you b/c you are AWESOME!!!
Miss you

Leanne said...

This post hit me too, as I have often been the one who is careless with my tongue. It is a hard lesson to learn.....and it is most often Christians who are the most harsh with their words. I'm learning this lesson right now.

I'm so sorry about your friend's dad. What a great testimony, though, to think that so many people were touched by his life here. Thanks to Christ, you all will be united for eternity one day!

Extremely hard times are being had here too.....but Christ is faithful and He gives us what we can handle!

I'll be praying!


Rodna James said...

Gayle, I am so sorry to hear about all of this. Unfortunately, I do about about these tough times, but as you said God will work it out for the good to those that love him.
Also, i try to remember when I am hurt by someone that the word says that if we love Christ, we will be persectued, and that we should actually count it a blessing. I know that is hard in the moment, but i have come to understand this, and it makes it a little easier.