Have I already blogged about this? I have no idea and at the moment, I’m too spent to look up and see if I have. So if this is a repeat (and I don’t think it is), I apologize.
My heart is extremely heavy tonight and I will explain what’s going on without throwing any stones. Tyler and I have a niece that is 19. Her parents were never married and my niece never had a relationship with her birth father (I’ll call him Ray) until last summer. And it was long distance at that because she lives in Washington and her father in Alaska. Over this past weekend, Ray was in a horrible motorcycle accident. He wasn’t wearing a helmet and sustained a major head injury. At this point, things are looking very bad. I was just told by Ray’s brother-in-law that the CT scan he had earlier today did not show good results and he’ll be kept on machines so the family has time to make a decision. My heart breaks for them . . . . . my niece flew up there today to see Ray and his family.
My niece, Anna, has been a part of my life since the day I met her wonderful Uncle Tyler. That’s 18 1/2 years. I have had many, many feelings about the adults in Anna’s life. Most born of sheer frustration and very intense. My mind has been in bad places at times. And now we have this. So what in the world am I supposed to do about some of the feelings I’ve had over all these years?
I’m going to fast. Not in the traditional sense, but in the sense that God commands in Isaiah 58:
6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk, (emphasis mine)
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The LORD will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
God says a lot more about fasting in that chapter, but this is the part that stuck out to me. I will do my best to lose the chains of injustice by praying for those I feel have been innocent victims. I will not turn away from my beloved niece, my husband’s own flesh and blood therefore mine as well. I will do away with pointing fingers and malicious talk. Why? Because I love God first. And I love Him more than I love my desire to do the opposite of what He commands. And who wouldn’t want the God of the universe to be their rear guard (aka have their back) and guide them always?
A few other verses have been popping into my head over the last 4 or 5 days . . . those verses that are so easy to forget, like “doing to others what you’d have them do to you,” “loving your neighbor as yourself,” and that whole problematic passage in Romans 12:
14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
15Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
17Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.
21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
So there you have it. Time for me to act like I’ve actually been a Christian for 29 years and that it’s had some effect on me. And of course, if you’re the praying kind, Ray’s family would covet your prayers now as they have to make some very difficult decisions.