That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.”― Emily Dickinson
I recently traveled to Cuba. One of the experiences I had there, really touched my heart. It’s the tragic story of 2 children. Their father, after having dinner with them, told them that their mother did not love him anymore, so he was going to kill himself. He did. The police had to wrestle the kids from each leg of the deceased father, who broke his neck as he hung himself in plain view. The picture below, was taken after they had responded to an altar call in the Seminary Church, two days after the tragedy. They are the couple, boy and girl, next to each other, to the left of me.
1. Pain is real, raw and relentless, but we can offer hope. Adventists are people of hope. Its part of our DNA, half of our name denotes that we wait for a better tomorrow. I wait anxiously for that tomorrow.
2. The real reason why I became a pastor, was not to be in interminable board meetings, discussing minor points of differences in worship style, or deliberating about whether to have seats in the front of the church or walk in from the first row during worship. I became a pastor to help people. That sometimes gets lost in the day to day operation of a church. But we need to remind ourselves why we do what we do. We are conduits of hope. Dispensers of mercy. Its about people, not programs, parliamentary procedures, or line items.
3. Just because you can’t do everything, don’t stop doing the little bit you can. Those bright eyed kids needed much more than what I could offer in one brief encounter. I must admit, it was a bit disheartening thinking about the type of lives they would live, with their last image of their father, one of pain, regret, and death. I could not change their lives every day. But I could do something, THAT day. And I did. Hopefully, the local church will embrace their kids as their own, and minister to them as they grow older, to understand they can make a different life choice than their father.
Today, as you go through life remember those kids in prayer. And remember, that at the end of the story, HOPE WINS!