Friday, December 14, 2012

a hope and an anchor

Kids for days in my house this week.

I've been helping out with a 5 week old foster baby.

The neighbor kids run back and forth with my own every afternoon.

My 3-yr old nephew has been over a few times this week too.

Not to mention my own precious 3 daughters.

Today at one point I had my 3-yr old, my 3-yr old nephew, our 3yr old neighbor and his 2 month old sister and the 5 week old. I absolutely adore kids, especially the littles and mothering is one of the things I do best. It's almost like a love language for me. I haven't accomplished many tasks or done much cleaning, but I've been loving babies and by that, loving their mamas and daddys too.

Something that many Connecticut parents won't be able to do tonight. While I hold and feed and rock babies, my iPhone goes from Facebook posts, to Tweets, to news sites. The depth of tragedy, the grief only builds.

Jesus be near. Be near the brokenhearted. Bring your peace. Bind their wounds.

Jesus IS near. He is near the broken hearted and his presence bring peace. But that doesn't make the pain or the grief any less. It just means he walks beside.

A few weeks ago our church started a series about end times. {Saying "our church" is a bit odd, since we are attending a different church from where I worked. The change, the freedom to slip in and out, a different style of church, has been good for all of us. A part of my heart will always be where I ministered.) Anyhow, it's not your typical "this is when the rapture is happening" sermon. It's more about how we respond to hopelessness and trials that come in life and that will only increase in times to come. I believe the Bible; and things will continue to get worse in our world.

Today as I've loved babies, and prayed for parents who won't hold their babies again, the words of past messages echo in my mind. I pulled out my sermon notes, to be reminded again.

That death is not the end. It is only the beginning. These innocent children are safe in the arms of Jesus. I believe that with all of my heart. And the adults who lost their lives, I pray someone shared hope with them. That they heard the Good News that death is not the end and they can have eternity in heaven.

My heart aches for the families tonight. My heart aches for the friends and family of the shooter. He was clearly an ill, disturbed individual and the pain of his loved ones is a unique one.

But the burning message in my heart is one of hope. It hurts, oh I know it hurts. And it will for a long time; forever. But we have this hope. We have an anchor for our soul in these times. You too can have this same hope and anchor.

From here

Christ the Lord. The Emmanuel. God with us. God with you. God with me. Jesus shows up. He will show up when the world ends, but he shows up when it feels like our world is ending.

Cling to this hope and anchor. Share this hope and anchor with those around you.

This is our burden. This is our call. {See here} We don't know what each day holds. We don't know what is going on in the lives of those around us. They need the hope of Christ.

Pray for those who grieve. Blessed are those who mourn.

Have hope. Be hope. Give hope.

An anchor for your soul.

{if you would like to listen, this is the particular message ringing in my heart, but parts 1 and 3--see the bottom of linked page-- are almost as inspiring and challenging. I'm looking forward to part 4 this weekend.}