Thursday, October 03, 2013

CP 222 Shattered beyond response

CP 222 Shattered beyond response?
Sometimes things happen that are heartbreaking. The following story, which appeared on the ABC website earlier this morning, is as bad as it gets.
The death of a baby boy found inside a car parked near a Perth childcare centre yesterday is a tragic mistake, police say. The boy, believed to be 11 months old, was found inside the back of his father's car outside the Ladybugs Early Learning and Care Centre in Helena Valley yesterday afternoon.
His father arrived at the centre to pick up his son, but was told by staff he had not dropped him off that morning. The boy was then found still strapped inside a capsule in the car. Paramedics tried to revive the boy but were unsuccessful. The incident happened on Perth's hottest day in the past month.
So sad. Impossibly sad. I can’t begin to imagine what must be in the heart and spirit of that dad and mum. Shock for sure. Distress beyond words. Deadened beyond consoling. Shattered beyond response.
No doubt more details will be released about this. Police don’t consider it suspicious. I have not the foggiest idea what comfort might look like in this situation. Perhaps a friend sitting beside them in their dust and ashes. As the article says, a tragic mistake. This story really got to me. I wondered why. I suspect it’s because I could see myself making a similar mistake. No malice, just an assumption that you have things in hand and then discovering, to your horror, that it was not so.
It’s had me thinking about sadness from other sources. For example there was an accident at the bottom of a steep hill in Sydney two days ago. A petrol tanker got out of control, tipped on its side, slid into another vehicle, ruptured its fuel tank, and burst into flames. Two died and six were injured. Mechanical failure seems to have been the cause. Tragic, and very sad for many. But what if it transpires that the Company concerned had cut corners on maintaining their vehicles? There is no suggestion of that at all in this case but sometimes laziness, carelessness or wilful negligence is behind some of the grief and sadness which whelms our lives. Sometimes anger is an appropriate response.
Another type of sadness, definitely accompanied by anger, was there in this week’s news reports about politicians claiming expenses for attending a private wedding. They were not the first to indulge themselves at public expense, will not be the last, and some of them appear unable to stop themselves helping themselves. It’s dishonest. It’s greed. It’s stealing. The same news cycles are carrying stories about other businesses and politicians who are corrupt. Will it ever end? No, never, while ever the heart of Adam is the only heart beating in human beings. (Do you share my desperate longing that our leaders lead with integrity? I so much want them to do well. ‘Please do well’, is the cry of my heart. Sadly, we hardly expect such leadership any more.)
In our church circles here there has been grief and sadness due to illness and death. Do you and I understand the purposes of our Lord in these life-altering scenarios? We do know about the fragility of the physical body. We do know about the prevalence of disease and accident. Often there is healing. “Why some, not others?” We have no idea. Others in our circles have been deeply wounded by those who are supposed to protect them. Arrgghhh! And then there is that heart-sadness when loved ones surrender to their doubts and desert their faith and their Lord.

How do we cope? It is tempting to say, “Blowed if I know!” It is true that there is so much we do not know. But there are promises HE will not break. Let me give you just one: “A bruised reed he will not break; a smouldering wick he will not quench.” (Matt 12:20) I trust this word. I offer it to you. I trust it because it is undergirded by another truth. Christ Jesus, whose sacrifice bought our freedom, was the reed which was broken, and His smouldering wick was quenched. Because of Him, our Father will never break us or extinguish the fire of life in us. He will not let us rot, never forget us, or push us away. Ever!
So here is something most of you know… and if you don’t, enjoy it anyway.
What a Friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Jesus is our only refuge,
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you?
Take it to the Lord in prayer;
In His arms He’ll take and shield you;
You will find a solace there.
Joseph Scriven 1820-1886

Be comforted in Him… Fred


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