Last spring I asked a bible study group to write a letter to themselves - the catch was that it should be written as if it were from God. I told them I would send them the letter in about a year.
It hasn't been quite a year, but I thought the holidays would be a great time to hear from the Almighty, so I mailed the letters a couple weeks ago.
What I forgot was that I also wrote a letter and gave it to a person from the bible study to send to me. I got that letter this week. I wrote this a few weeks after I was told we would be moving. This is an edited version of it. Amazing how prescient it was.
Dear Beloved Vicky,
I have seen you struggling the past weeks. Know that I AM with you. It will be difficult to leave the ones you love. But I AM with you -- and that is enough, my love.
Your future may be hidden from you, but it is not hidden from Me. I have people for you to meet who will love you for who you are. I have people for you to love into my family. Some of them will be obvious as to who they are, and some won't be so obvious to you. Just love them all.
I'm excited to see where you are today. I've walked every step with you --even when you didn't feel me there.
Take care of Ken.
YHWH (I AM)
This is exactly what I have found here in Girard. I am so happy to have people who love me for who I am - THANK YOU for doing that for me. And I am thrilled to know that I will have an impact in someone's life for eternity. It is truly an honor to be your pastor. God has taken a painful situation and brought beauty from it.
You see, anyone can make something good out of something good. But it takes God to make something good out of something so painful. That is the awesome God we have the privilege of knowing.
Practice seeing yourself through God's eyes. I encourage you to do something like writing this letter. What would God say to you? How would God speak into your life? No judgement, no condemnation, just see through the eyes of a loving God who only wants the best for you.
You'll be amazed at how true it will become.
Question of the Day: What would God say if God wrote to you?
My favorite Christmas song is O Holy Night. Each Christmas Eve I request that someone sing it. My favorite phrase is 'Chains shall he break for the slave is our brother, and in His name all oppression shall cease.'
How could the coming of the Christ Child dare to be proclaimed as the end to oppression and catalyst for justice across the entire world?
Because he is going to address oppression where it begins - in the human heart. It can only be crushed by cleansing the heart of its need to exploit and deny the free will of another.
I would love to say that this is a gift we have received in its fullness. But we all know that although the world has certainly changed for the better over the centuries, we have a long way to go until our world is characterized by a place where justice dwells for each person.
There are a lot of voices calling for separation this season - separation of races, religions, political parties, police officers and civilians - to name a few. But nothing stings of injustice more than dehumanizing someone by treating a person as a category. All justice is ultimately individual justice.
If we are going to enjoy a world where justice reigns, we must stop looking at someone else to change things. We can't look to institutions and power to do our work for us. It will only be individually and through influence that the human heart changes. It comes as OUR hearts are transformed. It can come no other way.
So the next time you notice the words 'those people' come out of your mouth, remember that each and every one of 'those people' is a child of God who is loved just as much as you and I are.
Question of the Day: What is your favorite Christmas song?