Tuesday, October 26, 2010
This has been a difficult week. A friend, a sister in Christ, was reported missing at the beginning of the week and found two days later - dead. While the local news broadcast that the body had been found, very little else was reported - which of course left room for more questions and rumors to abound. Was it suicide? Was it murder? What had happened? How?
Some felt asking the questions was wrong. They urged to offer the family privacy, which is completely understood. However, the questions continued to brew....People weren't trying to be nosey; they were scared. In addition to dealing with the death of someone known throughout the community, there was a subtle fear linked to the unknown questions of "how." Mingled with their grief was a new element - fear.
People began to look over their shoulders as they walked into the local Walmart. Returning home after dark was no longer just an ordinary event. Going for a walk in the neighborhood somehow didn't seem as casual anymore. I, personally, even considered getting a tazer for protection of me and my family. I started going into full "mama bear mode", ready to protect my babies from some unknown killer.
Then slowly, it became evident that the unthinkable had happened. My friend had taken her own life. For whatever reason, she decided that she could no longer take part in this life here on earth, and she left. Why? I don't know.
After a week of worry, I realized there was no stranger who abducted my friend and carried her away from her family and friends. There was no burglary gone wrong. There was no crime. There was no murderer for us to hunt down and bring to justice. There was ..... nothing. While my thoughts about my friend's death made me sure there must have been a murderer that took her life, the facts said she took it herself.
Then today, a thought hit me. Maybe I was right the first time...there was a murderer, a murderer as old as time who has shown his work throughout the ages. He comes to steal, kill and destroy. (John 10:10) He fires darts toward our minds in hopes they will somehow find a chink in our armor and fester into torture no man can imagine. Then, just like any other predator, he lies to us and swears us to secrecy...telling us it's our fault we feel this way, our fault that we are broken and fighting a battle inside, our fault we aren't perfect. Just like the predators we hear about on tv, this one come in darkest hours to further torment us and pull us deeper and deeper into his captivity. And his greatest weapon - silence. He convinces us that we dare not share our thoughts with anyone. He makes very sure he keeps us "alone". This killer doesn't come in the shape of a human, but he is a killer all the same.
I wish I had known my friend was hurting, wish I had known the battle she was fighting...wish I could have helped her before she was killed. We say soft words like "she took her life", but the truth is, she was murdered...murdered by the one who would love to kill us all. Why do I think the fight is any less real when the enemy is spiritual - a being without flesh and bone? Why am I not just as ready to hunt him down in his hiding places and reveal him for the monster he is? I know that one day he will stand before the Judge and face his judgement, but in the meantime I want to make sure he doesn't find a way to kill again. I'm pretty sure buying that tazer won't protect me or my family against this enemy, but I know where to find a weapon that will....I plan on using the same sword Jesus used - the Word of God.
Wish I had some funny words to share with this blog, but there are none. Instead, I think I'll go and sharpen my sword. Oh, and one more thing....I'm going to make sure I have someone who can fight along side me...and I can fight along side them. This is not a battle I want to face alone.
Ecclesiastes 4:10 (Contemporary English Version)
If you fall, your friend can help you up. But if you fall without having a friend nearby, you are really in trouble.
Ephesians 6:12-17 (Contemporary English Version)
12We are not fighting against humans. We are fighting against forces and authorities and against rulers of darkness and powers in the spiritual world. 13So put on all the armor that God gives. Then when that evil day [a] comes, you will be able to defend yourself. And when the battle is over, you will still be standing firm. 14Be ready! Let the truth be like a belt around your waist, and let God's justice protect you like armor. 15Your desire to tell the good news about peace should be like shoes on your feet. 16Let your faith be like a shield, and you will be able to stop all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Let God's saving power be like a helmet, and for a sword use God's message that comes from the Spirit.