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Posts Tagged ‘tragedy’

Robin Williams with maskIn searching among the many photos of Robin Williams, I’m surprised by my emotion.  I’m in awe of this creature of countless expressions and I believe that God mourns his apparent suicide.  The Potter of William’s life took such care to shape a vessel for esteemed use.  Surely, Williams brought laughter, posed questions and made us think.  But what did he think of himself?  Could he no longer laugh or find joy because his identity was so precariously unsure?

Williams was somebody.  And while we can no longer help him recognize his true identity, we can help ourselves and our children.

Our identity is not actor or senator or founder and CEO of Microsoft.  Our identity is not Victoria’s Secret model or teacher of the year or Supreme Court justice.  All of these are types of vocations or things we chose to do that affect the world around us.  Our identity is not heterosexual or homosexual.  These are behaviors and ways to grow–or not grow–the family tree.  Our identity is what God says we are.  To the baptized Christian, He says,  “You are my adopted child in Jesus Christ.  You are my heir.”  Nothing–no, not one thing save our own rejection of this identity–can change who we are in God’s eyes.

Our value comes not from anything we do, but from what Jesus Christ did for us.  The Savior of our lives has covered us with His Robe of Righteousness.  Now, when God looks at us–even when we’re suffering sin and depression–He sees the treasures for whom Jesus gave all He had.  Did anyone tell this to Williams?  Are we sharing this truth with family members, neighbors and friends?  Or are we reluctant to speak this truth because we, too, are deceived about who we really are?

In her post “Murderous Mendacity of Depression,” Elizabeth Scalia wrote,

Depression is a hissing false witness. It lies and tells someone there is no hope; it lies and declares, “you’re a fraud”; it lies when it warns you to hide your feelings, because people won’t love you if they know how terrified and alone and desperate you feel; it lies and sneers that you’re weak — that you can just snap out of it, anytime, if you really want to; it croons the lie that love is not real, and hope is for suckers; it whispers the most insidious of lies: that your pain will never ebb, cannot be transcended, and has no value at all.

After a while, the pain begins to feel like all you are and all there is: a worthless, pointless void. And when your life becomes just pain-without-end, suffering-without-meaning, tomorrow seems like less a promise than a prison.

When depression wins, it is such a damned tragedy, no matter whether it has carried off a big rich somebody, or an ordinary nobody, because it is the victory of an incessant liar.*

Jesus knows the liar.

He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him.  When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44 ESV).

We all hear the hiss of satan.  The evil one tempts: “Did God really say . . . ?”  The question stirs doubt.  In doubt, we put ourselves in God’s place and assume control.  After we do what we want and suffer the consequences, the tempter becomes our accuser: “Did God really say He can forgive you?”

Both questions are intended to separate us from the one who knows us better than we know ourselves.  The one who calls us by name.  The one who promises a future of hope.

It is right to mourn the loss of people who, in darkness or desperation, take their own lives.  Then we must ask: In light of my true identity, how shall I live?

Christ Jesus is the one who died–more than that, who was raised–who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or  nakedness, or danger, or sword?  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35-38 ESV).

 * I am appreciative to Sheila Liaugminas
who quoted Scalia in her Mercatornet article of 8-13-14

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tornadoAll is not well.  The earth knows… and groans.

When God created the earth and every living thing, He designed an earth in harmony with those who dwell upon it.  Sin changed everything.  The tornado that stole away precious lives in Oklahoma was evidence of a sin-altered world.

I pray that we all mourn the loss of lives for whom Christ died.  More importantly, I pray that parents everywhere prepare their children for eternity.  In a blink of an eye, any one of us or our children or grandchildren might draw our last breath.  After death, where will we be?

The arms of Jesus are open for all who call upon His name.  May we parents and grandparents teach our children by word and example that Jesus is the only Savior.  He is the only way to perfect life… literally out of this world.

May we help children know their identity as God’s sons and daughters in Christ.  Why?  So that they grow in Wisdom… and, whenever their last day on this earth might come, we’ll know where we’ll see them again.

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There was a day when even Planned Parenthood might have turned its back on death and destruction.  But, no.  After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Planned Parenthood of New York City (PPNYC) responded by offering “free reproductive health care” to women affected by the world Trade Center disaster.

“[W]omen in need due to the tragic events of last week,” said PPNYC in a press statement, could receive free of cost “PPNYC services, including GYN care, birth control, emergency contraception, STD and HIV testing and counseling . . .”  It did not specifically mention free abortions.  However, when contacted by Population Research Institute, a PPNYC representative confirmed that any woman who had been displaced by the attack “can come in for a free termination.”  (Source: Population Research Institute Weekly Briefing, September 28, 2001.  PRI is a non-profit organization dedicated to debunking the myth that the world is overpopulated – http://www.pop.org)

Many families found hope and joy in the babies waiting to be born into families who grieved tremendous loss.  Here was an opportunity for Planned Parenthood to see the promise of new life.  But, no.  The largest provider of abortions in the world stood ready to end more lives.

I don’t understand.  Do you?

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