Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
When I wrote about The PFA Challenge for last Sunday’s Twitch, I had no idea what kind of a challenge it might turn out to be. I suspect you didn’t either. Prayer, fasting, almsgiving.

More than ever, we need to be at a place where we can let God in through prayer.

We need to be “fasting” from letting horrible news subtly demand all our attention as though it was the only thing worthy of attention.

Bad news has a way seizing our attention with a chokehold that won’t let go. As we stand opened-mouthed in shock over another ‘inconceivable’, we fill up with so much: anger, rage, sadness, helplessness, pity, frustration...
When our hearts are submerged in our reactions to the unthinkable, our charity runs the risk of drowning as well. We can’t offer the charity of our love because it got crowded out..

For me, one of the most startling things to come out of the tragedy of the killings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, has been the reaction of the students. With a clarity and articulation that is stunning, they call out to lawmakers to stop all the excuses and fashion laws that can protect them – and us.

This time I hope and pray that their voices will be heard.

How often in the past have we heard those kinds of calls and nothing happened? Where have those kids come from? I think they emerge from the very experience of coming together through their common loss and common wounds. That loss and those wounds give them a courage and a vision we admire.

Admiration, however, is only the beginning. Do you recall some years back, teens could be found with a bracelet that had the letters, “WWJD”? The letters stood for, “What would Jesus Do?” Last weekend, as I prayed and sweated over what I could preach about, those bracelets came to mind, and I told you then that I wondered if Jesus were a member of Congress right now, what would he do?

Beginning with our own senators and representatives, I can only hope that conscience and clear-headedness will triumph over campaign contributions. Misplaced hope? I don’t think so, not after seeing the uncompromising dedication of the Douglas youth. After all, I am supposed to be a man of hope, even in the face of what might seem impossible. That’s not sarcasm. It is my hope.

While the Parkland tragedy unfolded, so did the Olympics on the other side of the world. Talk about conflicting emotions. I grieved over death and gasped in admiration at impossible ski jumps and speed skates. The Olympians had to stay focused as they had been through all their training.

Maybe our lesson is to continually recall our mission to be disciples. An “Olympian Focus” can help us deal with loss and evil, even as we try to experience God’s love, and more importantly share it. Whether it’s slopes or arenas, wherever we find ourselves, Jesus asks us to stay on track.

In Him,
sign frjim

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