Category Archives: Public Display of Affection

A New Look at an Old Book: Job 14-16

I had breakfast with a friend this morning. We had planned to meet with another woman and make it a girls’ day out, but plans changed and we were able to dine alone. We met at a quaint little coffee shop in our hometown and placed our orders. We sat down at a table littered with puzzle pieces, and my friend was immediately entangled in the process of placing the tiny mosaics in order to reconstruct a photograph of a beautiful, blue victorian home. While she worked, we ate and talked. The conversation was pleasant. We discussed the minutae of our lives and exchanged a few laughs.

Then I did it.

I had wanted to know for awhile, but I never felt the time was right to ask. But today, with just the two of us, and she occupied with a task for her hands, I asked her about Chelsea.


Chelsea is her beautiful, perpetually-just-shy-of-sixteen-years-old daughter. During a routine trip to a neighboring city, my friend and two of her three children were involved in a motor vehicle accident, and Chelsea was tragically killed. As I listened to the painful recounting of that fateful day three years ago, I was struck silent. I soaked in the scenery and the emotions as Bev carefully and tearfully walked me through her memories of that day. After sharing, she pondered aloud the question that all of us have asked at one point or another – “Why would God take HER when there are so many bad people in the world?”

In this passage of scripture, Job is asking the same thing. Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people? Why is there pain and suffering for believers? Why is it that tragedy strikes? I’ve been contemplative since our meeting this morning. My friend is quite a happy person in light of her unbelievably difficult reality. I’m not sure I could function, much less be productive, positive and pleasant.  I am not a parent, but I am a doting aunt and just the thought of losing one of my neices or nephews brings me to a very dark place.

As I thought about today’s reading, I marvelled at the tenacity of Job, but I am also moved by the life of this woman, my friend, who shared her heart with me today. As I sit here, I am listening to the song “Breath of Heaven” and I am reminded of another loss.  In the blockbuster movie, The Passion of the Christ, the scene that breaks my heart most, is the point where Mary watches her son walking down the road, heavy with the cross of his crucifixion on his shoulders. As he passes, virtually unrecognizable, he falls and she remembers Jesus as a happy, vibrant toddler running, laughing and falling as a child.  She didn’t see the Savior of the human race – she saw her baby, and He was hurting – and she was powerless.

That’s how my friend felt – that’s how Job felt – and that’s how God must have felt when He watched His son suffer and die.  When I read these scriptures, I am made sad at the pain that people have to suffer.  At the same time, I am selfishly thankful that I have not had to endure that type of pain.  I am also aware that we are not the only ones who suffer.  God himself suffered.

I don’t know why God lets bad things happen to good people, but I find comfort in the knowledge that He knows what that kind of loss feels like.  I find grace in the words of my friend, who while hurting can still bless God and look to Him as her source of strength and hope.  I am comforted in knowing that the tears we weep for the losses we endure on this side of the veil are not shed alone.  God himself weeps with us.  He is our Champion and Friend.  He is just as sad about our suffering as we are, maybe moreso.

Our breakfast turned into lunch.  We shared and cried together.  I was able to see a part of my friend’s heart that was broken and vulnerable, and in sharing about her loss – we gained.  We added to our friendship.  We increased the memory of a very special girl whose life positively impacted more than 1,000 people.  We grew in understanding of the depths of love.

Maybe that’s the real lesson here.  Maybe the reason we experience loss is to gain. . .

  • understanding
  • empathy
  • patience
  • love

Thank you for sharing your life with me.  I have been blessed.

Chick-fil-a Worship Club

I’m sitting in Chick-fil-a because they offer free wi-fi.  Squirreled away in the corner, I’m quietly enjoying my lemonade, my chicken sandwich and my uniquely cut waffle fries.  I have to confess that I’ve been here for far too long.

At about 9:30, a group of men came in and they have also chosen to squirrel away in the back of the store in the cheap seats – next to the rest rooms.  I can just tell by looking at them that they are here to meet as either a Bible Study or as an accountability group.  I don’t have to wait long to confirm that my assumption is indeed correct.  They are here to learn and to grow.  As I glance over, I can see that each man is wearing the iconic gold band on the third finger of their left hands.  This makes me happy.

After such a disappointing day last weekend, I am uplifted and encouraged by this group.  I am encouraged because I can’t help but hear the conversations going on.  I can hear them encouraging each other.  I hear them admonishing one another.  I hear them holding each other accountable.  I am uplifted because these are men with families – at least with wives and they have set aside time in their week to make sure that their hearts are right.  All is not lost in the world.

I don’t know these guys.  I don’t know if they are being sincere.  But in any case, I hear them talking openly about God.  They are discussing scripture within earshot of other patrons.  They are praying together.  They are not being ostentatious with their relationships, but they are not shirking away from the public, either.  They probably don’t know that what they are sharing with each other has inadvertantly served to be an encouragement to me.   I get the impression that this is a weekly pursuit.  I wonder how many others have been affected by their obedience?  These guys are just going about their normal routine, and God is using them to minister to me.  Isn’t it amazing the way that God works?