This is the lake where I jog. Okay jogged. Past tense verb needed here because I am such a baby when it comes to being cold. I get about 20 minutes into enjoying the beauty of the snow, and jogging is not enough to keep me warm. But yesterday I figured I could walk at least once around the snowy path, and take some pictures before it all melted away.
Everything is cold.
And somehow there's life. Somewhere underneath the frigid surface is a breathing, living thing.
Frozen soldiers defy the tempests and stand. Long and strong.
Fences confine the wandering from distracting their concentration.
But one has fallen.
Passersby turn not their heads. No stopping. No helping. No lifting up the fallen.
And there she lies. Wounded.
But though her hurts are heavy, her roots are strong.
We load on our own burdens, and carry on.
Build our bridges.
Mend our fences.
We go home.
And the sun sets.
Sometimes I wonder what would happen if we really lifted up the fallen. I mean, for real, no holds barred, non-judgmental help. I don't mean hypothetical theological answers that the fallen will ignore because it wounds them deeper. I'm talking about true love. Compassion. Nurturing. What would happen if the church truly reached out in love? No backbiting, no expectation of perfection, or quick remedy, no sweeping the ugliness under the carpet, but a willingness to embrace the seemingly unlovable. Those whose roots are strong will survive. But what happened to making this world a place where we should THRIVE? Not just expecting the church people to stand like silent, frozen soldiers fulfilling their duty so the picture looks pretty.
We are alive! We can move! We could be the one who picks up the pieces!
We can't prevent the storms. We can't handle the weight of the trials of their lives. Only God can. But we can use the broken pieces and mend the wounds. Maybe even help them find a fresh, fertile ground in which they might live again. Breath again. Bloom and flourish again. What would a church-goer like that look like? How would the world see us then?
And maybe someday when we fall(Proverbs 24:16), we'll find an outstretched hand like the one we often extended.
1 Corinthians 13:4 "Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things."