Friday, May 18, 2012

BJ and I backpacking Red River Gorge in Kentucky

Working with many students through the years, I find myself frequently wondering, "what if?"

Since his passing, many students have graduated from high school. Some went off to college. Several have married. Those his age are now graduating from college.

I guess it naturally brings about a retrospection.

What would he be like today? Would he have fallen hard, like so many of his peers? Would he allow the grace of his Savior to wash over him, after?

I recently heard someone I admire say, "we learn more from our failures than our successes."

I know this should be true. I believe in many cases, it is true. There are areas of life that we do learn quickly.

But, I've read the Bible and I've fallen myself frequently enough, to realize that we have a tendency to repeat our mistakes. Over and over the Israelites failed in the same ways. Over and over I fail, in all too familiar ways.

At times Deanna and I look at the Old Testament and shake our heads wondering, what were they thinking? Then, a few moments later, as the Spirit of God brings gentle conviction, we find our own reflection in the mirror of their failure.

It's not pleasant. And, its painful.

For some reason, it's just easier to see the splinter in the eye of another, even though we are embracing the cumbersome 2x4 from which the sliver came.

Many of his contemporaries no longer reflect the Savior they once clung to. Their social networking sites are laden with portfolios of sin. Somehow, when embracing the world, momentary joy produces photo-shopped memories that seem to reflect a happiness that actually left, the moment the event concluded. Trophies of transgression are all that remain.

One such young man used to contact me occasionally. He wanted to let me know when some young men that formed a band that my son was fond of, were failing. I believe he wanted me to intervene. I always interceded. I continue to.

One need only glance onto his page to see he has chosen to follow their failures, not reflect the Savior.

Some of the students I was privileged to lead the mission field, have abandoned their first Love.

I am sickened.

I am called to prayer. A banner on a hilltop, is a call to arms for His warriors. We cannot sit idly by, while others fall down and their Christian brothers stamp on them rather than offer a hand back up.

My son was gifted at calling others to Truth, but with love.

He cannot do this now, except through his written words.

You and I can be active and engage the fallen. We cannot assume others will run to their rescue. When I see someone fail, I need to own their fall and reach out to them.

It's easy to judge. It's much harder to be an implement of restoration.

We are called to love. Love is not what wells up within me when I see this peril. However, I must deny myself, and allow Him to penetrate my piercing judgments, and reach out to the broken.

Just because I do the right thing, does not mean they will respond appropriately. But, they will see that I care. They will know where they can turn.

We each need a place to turn. We all have that in Christ.

However, sometimes they need to feel His touch through my hands or yours.

Pray and Love... (you can eat later).



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