Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Reflections on the Journey - 2013 edition

My past posts have revealed some great moments of 2013, as well as some really difficult ones.  And, as most of you are already aware, my cousin's daughter, Claire passed away at the end of 2013, after being shot in the Arapahoe High School shooting in Colorado.

Life is full of ups and downs, isn't it?  When we're in the midst of the "downs," we often feel they will never end.  But when that glimpse of sunshine comes blazing through the dark clouds of our storm, we are reminded that God is still God.  We are prompted to recollect all the times He has shown us His love and mercy.  If we really ponder that, we KNOW it is true. 

I sat and wept on January 1st, as my cousin Mike shared such amazing words of forgiveness for the killer of his daughter.  He reminded the audience of the need to end the cycle of anger, hatred, and bitterness.  A young man named Karl took Claire's life and, just a few seconds later, took his own life.  Mike offered no cutting words of revenge.  He offered words of hope.  Words to cause his listeners to call to mind the myriad of ways we can show love instead of seeking retribution.

The same love God continually shows each of us...

Those are the moments of 2013 I want to remember.  The moments of grace.  Because those are the occasions that will pull me through the journey in the tempestuous winds of this life.  And afford me the opportunity to share that same grace with others, just as Mike did.

"Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place."  II Corinthians 2:14

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