Defining moments. Seven years ago today I received the call that my Mom had taken her life. Although grief doesn’t shackle me as it once did, sadness rose to the surface of my heart as I remembered. One simple but striking question from a dear friend allowed me release of that sadness, How is your heart today? I received God’s comfort through my tears and reflected on how my missing Mom is different now and how that time seems both like yesterday and a lifetime ago. I miss not being able to share all the moments, like events in my children’s lives and how I am at home writing now, those things that we talked about together. I miss the community of family, she was a big tie for us communicating and seeing each other more, even if it was in crisis. I miss not being able to have a redo in some areas of our relationship now that I know the things I do now. I see also how some things have changed from deep pain to guilt to regret to man I wish we could…All a process of healing.
I have a picture in my home that says, Cherish every moment because it will never come again. Cherish – care for something deeply, treasure it. It is easy to say to others especially when you have experienced any loss or anything difficult in life and you wish you could retrieve some moments back in time. My thoughts this past week have been who do I have to cherish those moments with and who do I have when the defining moments come that knock me down and take my breath away, wondering how I will breathe normally again.
As always when God is showing me something, it has to come at me in several forms to get through my head and into my heart. All I have been reading and watching has a theme about community. It is crucial to have a small group of people in your life who will fight for your heart. Jesus did it with the 12 disciples and even more intimately with Peter, James and John. We can have a community of believers at church but devotion stems out of small units just like in a family. John Eldredge says it this way in Waking the Dead, “It is knowing you are at war, that God has chosen you and evil is hunting you and a fellowship protects you.”
Do I want to acknowledge that there is evil in this world? Not necessarily but it is the truth. Bad things do happen to good people as they say. Can community be hard and messy? You bet it can, it will reveal the places in me that have yet to become holy. Conversely can community be a lifeline. Absolutely, it has saved my life and heart many times in this lifetime. The devil doesn’t come just to play games with us. Jesus said in John 10:10, “The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Community is one thing God has given us so that we have intimate allies when life happens.
Our church has always encouraged the idea to get into a small group and do life together, in fact, the church began from a lifegroup. I become more and more sold out to this idea all the time. Wade and I have been hosting groups through the span of our time there and even though the initial step may have been partly from a feeling of obligation and wondering if that is what God was calling us to do, our obedience has led us into relationships where we breathe life, receive it and are able to blow it out wherever we are. Our pastor taught on the weekend that since the 80’s there is a 40% drop in people caring about others. He said the lack of compassion has a direct correlation to the increase in social media. (See the link to the full teaching below) Receiving likes and lack of personal interaction make it easier not to care. This is a frightening phenomenon to me, I don’t know if that speaks to anyone else but likes on my posts will not feed my heart, I may get the quick release of dopamine from the pleasure of it but that leaves just as quickly. We can’t act on compassion if we don’t interact with others.
How did I get from my Mom’s suicide to social media you ask? My mom isolated a lot during the last years of her life and I often wonder had she been in community with those who knew her heart and could breathe life into it, would we be missing her today? As Pastor Craig says compassion interrupts us and it costs us but it also changes lives. Often we don’t see our hearts as they really are for different reasons and we need people around to remind us that our hearts are good, to laugh with us, to celebrate with us,to pray for us, to cry with us and to just be silent with us. Take the first step, find a person, find a group, come to church. Let’s be messy together.
Waking the Dead – John Eldredge
Come to church with me, 1625 Montreal St. Regina http://www.bloomchurch.tv/