Tuesday, January 21, 2014
As my hand steadily lowered the ivory curtains to cover the dusky darkness threatening to settle in outside, my eyes lingered on our neighbor's car. My face undoubtedly held an expression--most likely a grimace--of sympathy mixed with the heaviness which felt like a thud in my heart.
In the same way that I knew, after embracing her nine years ago, I would never see my grandmother again on this side of eternity, I knew that last night would be the last time I saw any trace of our neighbor's existence. We had to come to know him over the last several months, often exchanging food and conversations. We made him some jelly; he bought us a pie. We found and rescued his escaped pet bird one day. He and my husband talked late into the night about theology on our back porch.
He was our friend.
But his life has taken a severe turn as a result of some very poor choices. His new path is long, and it is lonely. It is mired by his obstinance and darkened by his arrogance. My heart aches for his family, who remains to pick up the shattered pieces of his former life, scattered among their home, his school, and our apartment complex.
Like Rory Gilmore, I would like to think that some good exists within every person. The Bible tells us that humankind by nature is sinful, though (e.g. Rom. 5:12). And I've seen the truth of this first hand.
Good does exist, but it exists outside of ourselves. I want you to realize, though, that there is HOPE.
Yes, sin is in our nature.
But we are not automatons! If anyone is in Christ he can go against "the flow" of his nature, because he can choose not to sin. In other words, we ALL have the ability to CHOOSE God's ways and to FOLLOW His desires in ALL things.
That is what I wish for our friend and ex-neighbor to choose in the future. And that is the same wish I have for your future, whoever you are and wherever you are.
"Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusteth in Him." (Psalms 34:8)