If you've read here long, you know I share very few tragic stories. Very few. But I feel I must share this one in case it may perhaps save a life.
In our Buffalo area, a priest, Father Luke (I'll call him) was an incredible encouragement to everyone. He always asked others, "What can I do to help? What do you need?" He got kids into schools they wouldn't otherwise be able to attend and for 26 years of his priesthood he was a helper, an encourager, helping inside and outside the church with food and clothing drives, soup kitchens, finding shelter for those who needed it and so much more. People said he felt like their true friend.
Last week, Father Luke committed suicide.
People are still reeling, in pain, and his memorial service is today. News stories said, "Father Luke was given a letter last week informing him that he would be reassigned as a hospital chaplain and that he would have a week to leave the church. Many people believe Father Luke was pushed too hard to leave the church and just, "snapped.""
Why share this sad story? It comes with a warning: satan comes hard after those who make a difference. He taunts them, tells them (inside their heads or through confused people) they're wasting time , their help means nothing, has no lasting effect on anybody. He tells them they're not doing enough, they must do more! (do more!) and no one really appreciates them, not even God, Himself.
Perhaps you have heard a few of those lines, yourself.
Yet today I simply want to remind you that satan is a liar. He's the father of lies--the best liar on the planet. He knows how to attack our weakest areas and he'll keep attacking until we run, hide or give-up altogether--if we begin believing those lies.
But there's another way to live, namely, with Jesus as the first and last word and reason we do anything. Or are anything. If Jesus is more important to me than anyone else, then what He says will matter most. The encouragement I receive from Him will keep me going, even while satan screams "give-up!".
If my obedience to Jesus takes me someplace else, that will be ok, for He will go with me--and His presence, His love, are what matter most. If I learn to receive from Jesus all that I need, then I'll be ok... I won't try yanking from people what only God can give me. I'll never run dry, for His living water well is always bubbling--if I stay planted beside it.
Jesus will never wander away from me. He'll never leave me to myself or to the lies satan would have me believe are truths. He loves me--He loves you-- way, way too much to ever leave us alone.
"He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers." ... Psalm 1:3
"The Lord is my light and my salvation--whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life--of whom shall I be afraid?" ... Psalm 27:1
In my comment box, Mary (thanks, again!) recommended the book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain and although I've not gotten a copy yet, I did discover Susan's wonderful blog. Wow--Encouragement City. Find it here.
At a different site, I found this article, Sarcasm: A Guide For Shy People, insightful, indeed.
I truly do love our new red front door. Sometimes I open it into the living room just to gratefully stare at it and to sniff the fresh oil paint. Really.