Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake: Jehovah was not in the earthquake.
And after the earthquake, a fire: Jehovah was not in the fire. And after the fire, a soft gentle voice. (1Kings 19:11-12)

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Peace Came into the Darkness

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I’ve sat down a number of times to tap out a few words. In this day when it seems everyone has something to say and post and tweet, I came up with nothing. My fragile heart was broken over the loss of the innocent children in Newton, Connecticut.

I realized I was stuck. Stuck in a grief that goes way back to my own suffering as a child. I recognize the pain and grief in my siblings who have had to say good-bye to their babies. I share in the grief of losing a family member to a mental illness.

It seems this type of tragedy causes many people to turn introspective.

How many people hugged their children tighter on Friday night and enjoyed their childish antics more just because we could. We still had our child(ren) at home, safe in our arms. But, to me, it didn’t seem right to boast about this privilege when so many parents felt the excruciating pain of their loss.

The suffering and death of children doesn’t seem right. No one can make sense of it.

When I was diagnosed as a two year old with cancer my parents were not given a lot of hope. Pediatric cancers are rare and make up only about 1 percent of cancer cases. The odds of getting the type of cancer I was diagnosed with, undifferentiated sarcoma, was less than six in a million. They say that one out of three people, including children, diagnosed with sarcoma will not survive the cancer.

My parents wrestled with the whys? My mother questioned why her daughter was one of the ones to suffer from this wretched disease? {I now wonder why I was one that was able to survive it.}

The doctors would give her pep talks on the value of life and the importance of carrying on with the treatment in order to survive. It is not that she did not value the life of her child, but she was looking to a hope that was greater than the doctors could give.

Are there any words really that can be given in this time of grief?

Many are looking for peace, but it seems elusive in this dark world.

From the heart of man comes evil. From the evil comes decay.

Peace came into the darkness than we might have hope.


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It is only the second year we, as a family, have lit the advent wreath. We do not come from a liturgical church background and we recognize that we do not need customs to live a life of faith by grace alone. But, as we intentionally set disciplines in place in our family, we celebrate the coming of the Messiah. We remind ourselves that Christmas is more that bright lights and tasty treats and wrapping and unwrapping presents.

We light three candles and say together before our meal:

“And may the Lord’s peace be with us all.”

“Our hope is in the coming of the Lord.”

The only One who can help the human heart is the Prince of Peace. The Word who became flesh. At the right time he came and dwelt among us.


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God with us. Emmanuel. That he might suffer

That He might offer up a peace offering. Himself. On a tree made into a cross.

That we might have hope.

The are really no words that will take away the pain and suffering and fill us real peace and hope.

Only the Word. Jesus the Messiah, the One who ‘will save his people from their sins."


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A Holy Experience




3 comments:

  1. What do the three candles stand for? I am not from a background that ever had these types if practices either, but they are a great comfort and I am bringing more of them Into my life. I want to have that for my children.

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    Replies
    1. Anna, there are actually four candles on our 'wreath' ~ one for the four weeks of Advent. Three were lit for this week as it is the third week. We will light four next week and add a centre one on Christmas Day. Really, it can be done in so many ways ~ tangible ways for our children to grasp the truth about Christmas and why Christ came.
      May the Lord bless you and your family as you seek Him in this season.

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  2. What a strange time. It feels wrong to celebrate, as we've done here this week, w/ a tacky-lights tour, cookie-baking day, Santa visit, movie day, etc. But I tell myself: those poor parents would tell us to enjoy every second...

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