Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The thing about loss

Matthew 24:42 -Therefore be on alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.

Death is a part of life. It is as sure as birth, but that doesn't make it hurt less when it happens to those you love. In the faith community and for followers of Christ, the loss of a loved one or family member is soften because of our assurance of their destination. I do find it hard to be 100% sad when I know that they are with Christ, free of pain and the earthy struggles "that flesh is heir to." But for this anti-change, semi-plan oriented girl, the thing that gets me most is the loss. The empty space at the table. How do you live your life from here on out, minus one? The landscape of life shifts. And I find that to be most painful. The initial grieving period hurts. But after that--is there really an "after"?-- how can every day not hurt when it reminds you of the empty space in your home?
I know we are meant to live our lives with our eyes on Christ and His heaven. And I do, sometimes. But it is so hard to comprehend our living space as a tiny dot on the eternal time line of Christ. Loss just reminds me how small that dot really is.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Oh me of little faith

Another Sunday here in Gettysburg...and I'm missing my FBC family again. But I took what I knew, that God has me here for a reason, and drove myself to a church in Hanover (about 20min drive) that a friend recommended. I did not get lost this time, as I did two weeks ago, and sneaked in the back row a few moments before service began. I opened my bulletin to find a quote from C. S. Lewis's "The Last Battle":

But for them it was only the beginning of the story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no on on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.

Every time I see a Lewis quote somewhere, I feel a little bit at home. Today was no exception. As I began to meditate on the path that God has for me, I looked up and saw, what looked like, the back of my one supervisor's head three rows in front of me. I thought it was just coincidence, but prayed through the service that it wasn't. As the service came to a close, I finally got a better look. I was right! It was my supervisor and her husband! After church I went over to her, surprise written all over her face. "Do you go here too?" I asked. "Yes, this is my church!" she replied. Relief washed over me and I hugged her. Someone I knew -- a believer! And someone who is also my co-worked! God is good. We spent a while chatting and just talking like friends, like good friends, instead of someone I hardly knew. Pastor Tim says there is a piece of historical documentation that non-believers would poke fun at Christians, saying that they act like brothers towards people they don't even know but who shared their faith. I say amen to that. I am so thankful and grateful for the faith community that I belong to that exists across the ocean and across town.
Driving home I was listening to a song that talked about God's forever presence in my life and how even though I walk through the shadows, He will guard, guide and defend me. I loved being reminded of that. I was also struck by my lack of faith over the past month. Did I really think God would dump me in Gettysburg and leave me all alone? Maybe not, but I think I was expecting him to work the same way in my life now like he did in London. Yet I should have known, as Aslan says, things never happen the same way twice. If they did, would we have any kind of faith at all?