Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Psalm 66:1-4 Shout joyfully to God, all the earth; Sing the glory of His name; Make His praise glorious. Say to God, "How awesome are Thy works! Because of the greatness of Thy power Thine enemies will give feigned obedience to Thee. "All the earth will worship Thee, and will sing praises to Thee; They will sing praises to Thy name." All the earth. Every person, creature, plant, stone, and tree... All the earth. We knew that Ramona was going to die. She has been a part of our family for 9 years. Her love, loyalty, and patience will never be forgotten. She was an amazing dog and dearly loved. So, when my children asked me if she would be in Heaven, I had to answer them honestly. "I don't know." You see the Bible doesn't say whether or not animals go to Heaven. Throughout our discussion on this topic, my son, Liam, responded "But she was a good dog! She should get to go to Heaven." To which my older son responded, "Being good doesn't get you into Heaven Liam, it is whether or not you know Jesus." And you know what, he is right. I don't think animals are necessarily good or bad. In the same way that a tree isn't good or bad. It just is. I think the same is true for animals. I think they are a reflection of environment mostly. I don't think squirrels are good or bad... or spiders either. Even though I can't stand spiders. (((shudder))) Well, I obviously think Ramona was a "good" dog. I think she is a reflection of the love bestowed upon her. I think she was put on earth for our enjoyment. And she successfully fulfilled her purpose. So, will she be in Heaven? I think so. Because of Psalm 66: 1-4. All the earth will praise Him. When I was talking to the kids, I asked them, "Can you praise someone that you don't know? What about someone that you don't love?" No. You can't. And if all the earth will praise Him, I think that means that it will all be there. Every stone that cries out. Every tree that claps its hands. "For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands." Isaiah 55:12 When I was considering all of this, I thought it sounded ridiculous. Every single dandelion that I mow over... every drop of water... every cricket... It is too much! And the thought hit me so profoundly, that I stopped right where I was. "Heaven is big enough." Heaven is beyond my imagination. It is more than I can comprehend. It is big enough. More than big enough.
Sunday, March 30, 2014
Grief really doesn't pick favorites. He holds no contests. Pain is real and tears are wet. When you are in the moment of despair. When the oxygen pulls at your heart, between heavy sobs, and the pressure is so great that you think that... just maybe... it might actually break. Split. Into two jagged fragments... still beating. But never the same. That grief is something that we all share. That pain. That shattering sob. And we don't unite in it. We judge in it. We harbor it. And we lock ourselves away, in that dark spot. Where the pain actually feels good in an addictive kind of way. Grief comes in all kinds of ways. He looks different every time. He parades around loudly, shouting from the pinnacle of disaster. Sometimes, he slides in through the back door and hides in corners where nobody knows he is there... except for you. He comes clothed in panic, shame, despair, regret, and anger. He whispers the things we can't say out loud. Grief isn't wrong. But I think, if we stay there. If we choose to live there. He can become a thief of the life that he just ransacked.