Thursday, July 30, 2015

A Lion and the Babies Break My Heart

Back in the fall, three young men tortured a llama eventually cutting the poor thing in half. Recently a dentist hunted down a protected lion and killed it. You can barely watch TV or view Facebook without seeing a story about animal cruelty. Planned Parenthood has recently been exposed, via hidden camera investigations, for profiting from aborted baby parts. Years ago the process of abortion was explained to me in great detail and it still horrifies me. I once had a student who had started to fall from a tree (I believe) and grabbed power lines. He lost parts of his fingers and suffered from being electrocuted. Recently a young man, whose sibling I taught, was in a horrible traffic accident with numerous life threatening injuries. I refuse to watch shows or movies involving serial killers because what is depicted disgusts me. Obviously they got the ideas from some sick persons' actual deeds. I know women around the world are being tortured and mutilated in the sex trade. I see images of starving children in commercials or in that famous photo with the vulture. (By the way, the man who took that photo took his own life because he was told to leave the child. He knew what happened and couldn't live with that decision.) I hear of horrific abuse to children, usually when it's too late. When I was a teenager, maybe even a preteen, I heard in graphic detail the suffering that Jesus endured leading up to and being on the cross. Passion of the Christ comes closest to showing what it was really like.

I am not simply outraged by these things. My heart is broken for the suffering around me. Some of us are gifted with being able to visualize things to their extreme, and even then we can't know what it's really like unless we experience it. I am one of those people. It's why I can't watch certain things on TV or even read about them. It will literally keep me up at night being able to imagine the suffering and it makes me sick to my stomach.

ALL of these things, and so many more, are horrifying and outrageous. God created the animals and blessed them in Genesis 1. He told us to take care of them, and since we were made in His image, I imagine we are supposed to care for and love them the way He does. He also made man and blessed him. He has called us to love one another, to care for each other, to treat each other as Christ would treat us.

What's the point of this post? Simply, just because I am outraged over the killing of an animal does not mean I feel any less outraged over the lose of life, especially life that never got a chance here on Earth. I get why people are comparing the two and in some cases people are much more outraged over the lion than the babies, and that is wrong. But I wonder if shaming someone is the way that Christ would want us to deal with the recent news that is circulating. Don't add to the sinfulness of what surrounds us by assuming others don't care and aren't outraged just because they didn't express it as you have. My heart aches for all that is happening and the cruelty of this world is too numerous to even list, but I can't dwell there or it will consume me. I choice to lay it at His feet, weep, and ask what He expects of me.

If He tells me to go and love on a bunch of 5th graders for 180 days then that is what I must do. If He tells me to care for animals and find them loving homes then that is what I must do. If He calls me to go and serve the homeless then that is what I must do. If He calls me to go far away and help rescue those oppressed then that is what I must do. If He calls me to minister to people in prison then that is what I must do. He calls each of us differently and pricks our hearts with different needs to what is around us and needs to be cared for. My calling is no less and no greater than anyone else's. Think about that before you wonder why others don't feel as deeply as you do about a situation, a suffering, a sin. He calls us all differently so that all who suffer can be comforted; so that all who are lost can be found. But we have to listen to the call and obey, and know He has called someone else to the many other needs.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Silence Evil

Last night I had a dream. At first I thought it was a bad dream, and I tried to pray it away. That only lasted a few seconds until I realized it was a spiritual dream. I want to share the dream and what it means. Be warned, it might cause you to think.

The dream began with a gathering at a lake house. It was a gathering of people, some who knew each other and others who were being introduced. I think it was two families coming together. There was a young woman, who never appeared in my dream, but they referenced her a lot. They talked for quite a long time, and people began to move about the house.

A young man entered the kitchen. It had a window over the sink that looked out to the screened-in room and beyond to the lake. About seven people still sat in the screened-in room. Others were in various rooms, but I no longer saw them. Suddenly a man entered the house.

This man was young, probably early twenties, and he was Evil. I don't mean evil was a character trait of his, but he was Evil itself. He came to kill the young woman who was mentioned but never seen in my dream. Everyone was terrified of him and they sat there in fear. He threatened them with harm if they didn't reveal where the woman was. Still no one spoke.

The only one who said anything was the young man who was in the kitchen. He told the other man that he would take on the full harm he intended as long as he left the others alone. Evil said, "do you understand that it will be awful? It will be a lot as I plan to inflict a lot of pain on them."

The young man stood tall and said, "yes."

Evil then shot the young man multiple times. He fell onto a braided rug and lay there bleeding. Unfortunately for him he was not dead, but lay there bleeding seeing what happened next. Or more accurately he heard what happened next.

Evil did not keep his word. Did you expect him to? He entered the screen-in room and put a plastic bag over the face of one of the women. He pulled the bag back and she began to suffocate. The others on the porch just sat there. They said nothing. The man then dragged another woman out into the lake and drowned her. He killed each of the people on that porch in a different way, and no one said or did anything to make him stop.

As he killed them I flashed back to seeing the man laying on the kitchen floor. A white, pure white dog came in, curled up and snuggled up next to the young man. Even as he lay there in the midst of the young man's blood, the dog remained pure white.

As Evil was stabbing another man I woke up. As I said before the first thing I did was pray, but even though the dream was horrifying I wasn't scared. I don't handle scary things well. I am not one to watch scary movies, and I refuse to watch anything with serial killers. But this dream, that should have had my heart pounding, did not have that effect on me. Instead, as I said before, it was a spiritual dream, one that showed me something.

I believe that Evil entered the house of people gathering to meet each other because of an upcoming wedding. Some of them were related or friends of the groom. I believe he was the young man in the kitchen. He was a symbol of Christ. He was willing to take on the pain and death of all the others to save them. The young woman that I didn't see I believe is the Bride. Many believe that all Christians are the Bride, but I believe the Bride is a set apart group of believers. No one knows who they are, and I am believe that is why I didn't see her.

Who are the others. I believe they are Christians and non-Christians. As I already stated, the man who burst in was Evil or satan. He knew the deal he made with Christ, but he broke that promise and killed the others. The dog I believe was a symbol of the sacrifice Christ made for us. The blood spilled did not change His purity.

Why is this post called The Silence Evil? Because the evil in this dream wasn't just the man who lied and killed others. The evil was the silence of those who sat there and let it happen. While I dreamed I kept thinking, "why don't they say anything? Why don't they just rush him and stop him from killing them?" God spoke to me and told me that we, Christians, need to stop being silent. We sit by and watch satan damage, destroy, and  kill, and we say and do little or nothing about it. We need to come together and fight satan in the ways we have been provided to. We need to pray. We need to speak truth, in love. We need to not tolerate people, but love them and not tolerate the sin. Jesus loved the woman they dragged before him and asked if she should be stoned for her sin. But He also told her to go and sin no more.

People love to pull out "judge not least ye be judged" but the Bible also tells us how to deal with a brother (or sister) who has sinned. Confronting the sin is not being judgmental, rather it's life-giving, restoration-bringing. True we aren't called to be the Pharisees who brought the adulterous woman to be stoned. They weren't even judging her, but rather condemning her to die for the sin she committed. We are to be like Christ, who loved her, but told her, "go and sin no more."

Our silence is allowing evil to spread, destroy, and kill. Our silence is evil!