Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I have to fight the self-pity that sometimes sits on one shoulder, digging its claws in hard, waiting to grab me and ambush me. Knowing grief will always be with me, the way I fight this facet of it is to stay busy with productive activities– oh, not going to lunch, shopping, or the movie …but writing has become my weapon. It just seems to be the outlet God has provided to see me through and for which I am grateful. I have to believe that he gives each one of us many different ways to fight the bad in life. Even if I have nothing to say, or share it with no one except my hard drive, the words become therapy. Words come from an energy that says, “Fight the self-destruction and self-absorption. Fight the temptation to return to the same unanswerable questions.” As Megan said to us on the day we were bringing her home from the hospital, “It is done”. And so it is done. Now I am left with deciding what I will do with what is done. I make a daily choice. You do too.

The other day I witnessed birds literally fighting for their lives. I remember the scene. My friend and I heard the frantic chirping of several birds while we walked. Peering into the wooded area, there he was – old Self-Pity himself – a huge hawk, hardly noticeable sitting very still on a dead limb (appropriate I thought). He occasionally turned his head, watching intently, for the moment to strike. On both sides of him were robins, taking turns screaming and swooping down in front of him, obviously trying to keep him away from their nest. This went on for several minutes. We did not wait to witness the outcome. Either the hawk gave up and left the steadfast defense of the robins, or he was able to invade and destroy the life they were trying to protect.

It seems to go one way or the other. We don’t always get the choice of the outcome. One thing I do know is I will fight that which wants to destroy me. But like the hawk, it sometimes can be hard to recognize. What about you? Do you allow dead limbs with destruction to stay within your reach? Do you flirt with danger? Do you go around ignoring the dead branches that are diseased and threaten to break and destroy you? Everywhere we look there is destruction in families, relationships, and our world.

Birds instinctively do the right thing – over and over. Why don’t we? I think it is because we have this thing called human nature (self) and the power of reasoning that birds don’t have. We have all these reasons why we are weak and unable to fight back. We become the victim and all of a sudden it is not fair. So we blame others or God and eventually we give up in despair. We have no hope. It is self-destruction at its best. We do it to ourselves and we project it on to others. Often we pretend not to see it and then it creeps in– just like the hawk, barely moving, just waiting for the moment of vulnerability to attack. We ignore the important fact that we have been created in the image of God and that he has a plan for our lives. Not only our lives, but he charged us to look over his creation and to care for it. While I watch and am drawn to it, creation cares for me, teaching and offering sound principles for living – Godly principles. Amazing.

Let’s be robins. Do something to fight that which wants to destroy. I am speaking to myself, of course. Jesus said that in this world we could count on having trouble, but to know that He overcame the world. He also said to come to him when we are weary and tired and he would give us rest. (He did not say that he would take away the trouble and sometimes it can be very tiring). He said to look destruction in the face and that through his power he would ultimately destroy it once and for all. I am counting on those promises and trusting all of them.

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