Life: Backwards and Forwards.


How ever true and deep does that quote feel in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing and the Sandy Hook tragedy and the Aurora Colorado shooting and… and… and…

It feels like I’m living on edge lately. Knowing the next tragedy is right around the corner. Feeling like it’s personal tragedy that’s coming. Wondering Worrying about the future. Knowing our country can’t handle the state it’s in for too much longer.

We’re too broken, too crushed, too divided, too sad.
We’ve raised a generation of people unable to deal with the world around them. Individuals that resort to violence because they see no other way of getting their demons out.
And this is absolutely no excuse for the horrible tragedies that were caused by people and have rocked our country again and again. Absolutely not a suggestion that the pain that has been caused by these people is not real and alive and burning like a bonfire on a cold night.

But it makes you wonder, you know, when three national tragedies have occurred since last July when I sat in the breakfast room of a Georgia hotel at the end of a long week of praising Jesus with High Schoolers and heard on the news the sheer terror in a movie theater thousands of miles away. It makes you wonder where we’ve gone wrong. Makes you wonder where we’re headed.

And I refuse to be an apologist, with words that stick like a bandaid when your wound is full of gangrene and what you really need is an amputation.
What you really need is to be cared for. To be loved.
And all the words in the world and the conspiracy theories and “positive thoughts” don’t mean much to the mom who lost her son just minutes after he hugged his father on his best-day-gone-so-very-wrong.
And it doesn’t matter so much who did it if we can’t stop it from happening again.
Because the pain will keep on coming if we’ve lost the strength to defeat evil.

And a day, for sure, is coming that Jesus will destroy the evil in the world, once and for all.
A day is coming where loneliness and hatred and fear and just straight Satan will no longer cause the devastation that flashes across Twitter and burns straight into our hearts.
A day is coming where we will no longer be afraid.
Where the only thing to fear will be not knowing Jesus.
And I assure you that will be something to fear.

But what about today?
The day after. The day before.
When America is again in shock, wondering how this could happen in the home of the Brave.
Wondering what it will take to get back to normal.
What it will take to feel secure again.
Because the list of places we can feel safe is getting smaller and smaller.
And kids sit with anxiety in classrooms where their attention is less on the subject and more on the possibilities.
And I don’t go to the movies as much anymore because I know I’ll continuously glance at the door below that glowing Exit sign, trying to convince myself that I’m in Clinton, Mississippi and things like that just don’t happen here.
But noone ever thinks it’ll happen to them.
Rare is the day that any regular person wakes up and thinks, “Today, I will make national headlines,” or “Today is the one that will change my history.”

“Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.”

And today that means I’m praying for those affected by the Boston Marathon bombing.
Today, it means I’m hugging my dad a little tighter and planning more time at home.
Today, it means I’m soaking up memories with my best friends who will soon be dispersed across the south.
Today, it means I’m reflecting and loving and understanding.
I’m praising Jesus for the now because I can’t control my tomorrow.
It means I’ll be scared but not defeated.
Anxious but overcoming.
Holding onto the one who holds it all.



3 thoughts on “Life: Backwards and Forwards.

  1. I like how you summed it up, because I couldn’t agree with you more. While society has it all wrong, the only thing we can cling to is the cross. He’s planned tomorrow out more perfectly than we could even imagine. It’s okay to be scared, and to pray, but (as you said) we aren’t defeated. Cling on. Great blog post, Hal.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s