I was in my car driving home from the grocery store last week. Sitting at a light, a young man walking down the sidewalk caught my eye. He couldn't have been more than eighteen or nineteen years old. Tall and too thin, his hair was a mess and his clothes were filthy. He was twitching and talking to himself as he walked in a zig zag along the the street. I couldn't stop watching him.
Living where I do I see my fair share of addicts and homeless people. The corner of Ash and Washington is full of them and I'll admit I usually don't think twice about it. I have not had the spare emotional energy these days for people who make such poor choices (as judgemental as that is, it has been true since my girls died).
But for some reason today this boy tugged on my heart. He was most likely an addict, and it made me sad. There was something very wrong about a young man in his condition. I couldn't help but wonder what happened in his life that lead him there. It could not possibly be what God wanted for this boy but nonetheless there he was, swaying down the road high as a kite, resembling nothing of the man I believe God intended him to be.
What should he look like God?
Very different I imagine.
I drove away.
When I got home my husband told me that a fellow Marine he knows had been shot and killed in Iraq three weeks before he was due to return home, leaving behind a wife eight months pregnant with their first child. My heart hurt. All I could think about was the incomprehensible pain of that poor young wife and how her child will never know its father. How what should be the best time of her life has been robbed from her by war, death, and tragedy. And how she will never be able to look at that baby without being reminded of her pain and all she lost. Her love, her dreams, her hopes, her plans, all gone in an instant. Her life now resembling nothing of what it was supposed to look like.
What should it look like God?
It hurt to much to imagine.
I walked away.
My mind rested on just how messed up the world is. Things have gone so terribly wrong. It is not supposed to be this way. Not for me. And not for anyone.
Holding my girls as they took their final breaths could not have been any more a part of what God intended for my life than that boy's drug problem or the death of that woman's husband was intended for theirs. It could not possibly be all just part of the plan.
I felt angry. You could pretty much say that I was mad at the world...the horribly messed up world. I felt helpless and sad. And I missed my girls. I longed for life as God intended it and not as it is...
What should I look like God?
So different I can't imagine.
This time I had no where to go.
The truth is having the life God intended is so much more than having my girls here with me. I have needed God's transforming power in my life since the day I was born, not just since the day my girls were born. And I need it still.
I don't even know how things ought to look anymore. But He does. And I trust Him. Only Jesus can bridge the gap between what is and what ought to be. In the meantime He walks with me through all the wrong things reminding me of how His love will make it all right in the end. What has become unrecognizable will be made identifiable after it is washed in His blood.
My hope rests on that promise.
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33