NovelSisters

watching, reading, and writing stories

#LifeMatters

Cemetery, Black, Death, Halloween, Mystery, Dark

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I’ve spent the last week on vacation, where I got to visit relatives and see a life size replica of Noah’s ark and visit a museum dedicated to validating the Bible as true and reliable. On my way home yesterday, I found out about the tragedy our nation has experienced with more deaths and murder and violence. It was heart breaking. I saw post after post on Facebook where people were trying to identify with those who were hurting by saying #BlackLivesMatter and #BlueLivesMatter and #AllLifeMatters.

Honestly, I didn’t know how to react to all the pain and suffering and fear that people were experiencing. What do you say? What can make a difference? I didn’t want to sit back and do nothing, but honestly, what is someone supposed to do when people keep dying and nothing seems to stop it?

I ended up praying, a lot. By myself, with family, for friends that were scared and for everyone affected. As I did this, I was reminded of these verses:

“Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” Ephesians 6:10-18

Our enemy isn’t each other, it is Satan. He has come to steal, kill and destroy and he is doing a good job of that right now. But we don’t fight him in our own strength. We speak truth to counter his lies, and we share the gospel of hope to counter his hopelessness, and we pray and place our security in Christ.

I don’t know where you find yourself in the middle of all this, but God has been teaching me this week that He is the Creator. He made every single living creature with a purpose. Each of our lives matter, no matter what our profession or skin color. We are all extremely valuable and loved by the One who made us. We are not here on accident and we are not made to hate and kill. We are made to be like Him: to love, serve, give, comfort, encourage, protect and be there for each other.

All this evil in the world is horrible, it is wrong and should be punished in the harshest way. Even if I’ve never shot anyone, I still have messed up, lived selfishly and rebelled against God’s design. I, like all of us, deserve to die, to pay the price for sin and rebellion.

But God’s Gospel is true and the good news does bring hope! Jesus died in my place, in your place. He paid the price for sin, for ALL sin. And He conquered it and rose from the dead.

I am alive in Him and with His powerful help, I can be a part of changing this world. There is no policy or program that will fix all the evil in this world. There is only the cross and He who died on it and rose from the dead. He is the only answer and my only hope.

So I cry out to Him today, for our country, for our people, for my friends and neighbors, my sisters and brothers. For He loves us more than I can imagine, so much so that He took our place on the cross and offers hope freely to any who come to Him.

That is my only answer to tragedy.

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Me Before You

Me Before You (film).jpg

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Movie review time again, yay! I’ve been waiting to see “Me Before You” for a long time and I was excited that it worked out with my friend to watch it last night. This is definitely one of those chick flick movies, so if that’s not your preference, feel free to stop reading. But I found the film very enjoyable. It’s definitely more of a tearjerker movie and not as much of a romantic comedy. Although, there were definitely a lot of funny moments in the film and I enjoyed laughing along with the rest of the audience.

But in the end, this is not a happily ever after type movie. From the beginning we can tell that this romance is mixed with tragedy. One of the main characters William, is involved in an accident at the beginning of the film and has to deal with the pain, humiliation, and changes that come from having a spinal cord injury. The plotline focuses on his growing relationship with Louisa. She tries to brighten up his life, make him smile, laugh and focus on the good. It is fun and sometimes laughable to see her efforts at cheering him up throughout the film.

But then we find out that William has decided to end his life. It’s a decision that he made before he even met Louisa, and the audience cheers her on as she tries to change his mind. But despite her best efforts, the film progresses toward this assumed ending. This definitely brings out the tears. But more than that, it brought up some questions and a good discussion with my friend.

As Christians, we could see something missing from Louisa’s efforts to save William. She was trying to convince him to keep living in a world full of pain, loss and disappointment. She wanted to make him happy, but he didn’t want to trap her in his world and keep her from living. No matter what she said, she couldn’t change his mind. Then my friend said, “If only he’d known Jesus.” It was a short comment, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it. There are so many people that live through horrific circumstances and don’t give up. They may live in pain every single day and a lot of people see them and think it would be better if they were put out of their sufferings. But they have a hope and they refuse to stop living.

I went home after the movie thinking about this and then happened to read this passage:

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”

2 Corinthians 1:8-10 “For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.”

I think if William had known Jesus, he could have kept living. Because Jesus not only comforts us in our hardships and delivers us from our despair, but He also gives us a hope and a promise. No matter how hard this life gets, He has promised that those who follow Him will have eternal life. All of the hardships from this life will be redeemed, and will be worth it. All of the sacrifices we made will mean something. Jesus gives us a reason to keep living.

So anyway, those were my thoughts after seeing this movie. If you enjoy a good chick-flick, check it out.

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Tragedy

This week has been hard… full of tragedy for many people. Boston bombings… a fertilizer plant explosion in West, TX. Many people have been hurt, even died. It’s made me stop and think about life.

My life sometimes seems full of little tragedies. Little things don’t go my way and it seems like the end of the world. But then you compare those little things to something like this… and I guess I should be thankful that I’m not the person dealing with this big tragedy. But I still hurt for the people who are going through it. I guess it’s kind of like reading a book. You connect with the protagonist, maybe even the sidekicks and when something terrible happens to them, you empathize. We’re wired that way, to react to others’  emotions. I saw a documentary once about how the same areas in the brain light up whether you were actually feeling an emotion or if you just saw another person displaying an emotion.

It’s like the scene in Les Miserables that always makes me cry. Whenever I see Anne Hathaway crying as she sings I Dreamed a Dream, I can’t help but tear up with her. In some ways, maybe that’s a blessing. Whenever we go through something horrible, it feels like no one else can understand or feel what we feel, when really… maybe they can.

Well, that’s my post for tonight, it’s not exactly about novels, but it seemed appropriate. Boston and West residents, I’m praying for you.

 

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