Monday, June 16, 2008

Attacks Of The Heart

Obviously I'm not writing here much these days...

There are many reasons for that, but most recently it's been a matter of self-preservation.

We have borne witness to murder and the weapon was so deceitful and conniving that we were unaware of its very existence.

I'm sorry this is so cryptic. The folks who have emailed me out of concern know a bit more, but most details must be left unspoken, unwritten in any forum...for now.

That only makes it worse, but I am limited for our lives have been forever changed, our viewpoint has been corrupted, our hearts have been pierced and suddenly the world is grayer...darker...we have been robbed, vandalized, and something so dear to our faith and our future has been mortally wounded.

Suffice it to say Amy and I have suffered a crisis of faith.

Faith in people.

Our faith in God is unshaken, perhaps it has been made stronger...but the sacrifice required for that strengthened faith is an open wound. It will not heal. It may in time scar over, but the wound will remain and I fear at the time our faith should be strongest it will will will cause us to doubt.

And we will remember, we will hesitate...and that's all it takes...doubt, fear, distrust...those are weapons now etched on our hearts. Hardened's not listed as an official crime, but believe me causing such a thing would be ranked as a capital offense were I writing the laws.

The few folks who know us or who still read my occasional ramblings already know...what only days ago I staunchly defended, I now must renounce.

We are in mourning...for a ministry...a ministry murdered.

Over the past 4 or 5 years I can't count the number of people who have told/asked us:
a:) You're crazy
b:) Why would you 'take a risk' on people you don't know?
c:) Do you really believe God is calling you to this?
d:) You should focus on you and Amy, cloister yourselves...don't you realize the danger?

I could go on...and on.

My answers have always been the same.

We know the risks.
We have faith in God.
People who need us obviously have 'messy' lives, we don't expect life to be 'tidy' in trying to help them.
I understand 'the gift of suffering.'
I trust people until they give me a reason not to trust them, no matter their past we start fresh.
We don't care where they've been, we are only concerned with who they are, and how we might help them see who they can be.
We have felt a real calling, believe me it's not the first time I've doubted it, but God has reinforced that call to us over and over again... at our lowest points... that this is what He wants us to do.
No, we can't afford it.
We'll find a way.
God will provide.

All of those answers are still true....except now I've added another.

Someday God will explain this to us...for now we will pray and try not to become jaded by the evil we've witnessed and endured.

In recent weeks I honestly believe I have stared Satan in the face and not realized it. I'll be the first to admit that it turned our world upside down.

But our faith remains strong.

We have, we pray, banished evil from our home, forgiven what can't be forgotten, and imposed restrictions on our lives I never thought imaginable.

Our lives have been forever changed, and what's worse is that change now forbids us from opening our home to people in need...although we do have some folks staying with us now because of an emergency situation in their lives. Their stay has been outlined in ink and to a large degree they are here to protect us as well as get on their feet. Otherwise Amy says our ministry is on "furlough"...I fear it is dead.

There are guns in our home.

There are security systems...alarms and cameras and locks.

Worst of all, there is that seed of distrust in our hearts.

I have traveled the sewers of life of my own volition. I have sat across from killers separated only by thick wire mesh laden glass. I have heard screams of victims that would curdle your soul...but, right our hearts... this is worse.

I can not bear to dwell in such dark places.

I do believe that God will shed light some day, but today...this day...I can not believe God expects me to put my family, my church, my company or our neighbors at risk.


That was the weapon.

The story is day I'll be less cryptic. I won't write here very often for a while to come, but I felt it only fair to let those of you who I know pray for us often some details...obfuscated as they may be.

Please keep praying.

Then pray some more.

I'm hoping one day I'll be able to understand all less fearful...remove so many of the new boundaries we've imposed on our lives.

Today is not that day.