Light for a Village of Seekers . You. Me. Us.

The Woods and a Stranger

God, why do You allow evil to prevail?

The woods near our home were such a source of adventure for my brother and me during our childhood.

We were fearless tree climbers, master fort builders, and relentless insect finders. We chased rabbits and boldly dared snakes.

Fifty years ago, with parental blessings, we could happily bicycle to destinations more than a block, even a mile away, to explore the hinterland of woods and wonder. There were no dangers from strangers.

We were safe; until Innocence fell prey to the Predator.

One chilly Fall day, my curiosity with a fire the adult stranger built deep in the woodland, and his cunning to send my brother and a few of our play pals to retrieve additional firewood so the stranger and I were alone, changed my understanding of Trust, forever.

Why was Heaven silent then? Why couldn’t I remove the stain of shame and fear from my little-girl heart no matter how many times I washed my hands? Why wouldn’t I tell anyone what was stolen from me until 20 years later?

Did God cry for my loss? Was He even there? Did He see what happened? What would it cost me to trust Him and others again? What did it cost Him to heal me and restore wholeness from my ugly, broken existence?

Abba, will I ever be able to trust again?

Have you ever wept from tragic loss, “Now what, God, now what?”

I know my tears significantly matter to my Creator.

I’m profoundly grateful that God strategically used every hurt to reinvent my definition and direction of trust, hope, and true peace. He lovingly did so through the ordained lifelong wanderings in the wilderness, the years of gut-wrenching thirst and hunger for significance, and the aching solitude of my own thoughts.

I now know more fully, what my grief and the source of my heartbreak, ultimately cost this God of Rescue. The Man of Sorrows knows intimately, heartache, loss and agony. His then, mine now.

I’m fully convinced my Creator cried five decades ago for my loss of innocence and every other assault against my peace since then. I know to the core of my being that He weeps now at the recent catastrophic passing of my carefully-constructed dreams, plans and hopes; a necessary soul excavation permitted by The Divine to make room for a new thing to spring forth (Isaiah 43: 18-19).

This cavernous wound and its bleeding, the outcome of a fallen world, is why He came and suffered His own pain, on my behalf, 2000 years ago on that Day of Intervention (Isaiah 53:4-5). He compassionately did so to assure the ancient ruins of the future He had in mind all along for me, will most assuredly be rebuilt one brick at a time, cemented together with the crimson-stained mortar of Heaven’s tears and mine.

God has promised me a crown of beauty for ashes; oil of joy for mourning; a garment of praise to replace a spirit of despair (Isaiah 61). My broken, shredded heart will mend in time, and I rejoice in knowing to the core of my being, that after the cross, there is always a resurrection. Always.

“For You are the God of my strength [my stronghold ― In Whom I take refuge]; why have you cast me off? Why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? Why are you cast down, O my inner self? And why should you moan over me and be disquieted within me? Hope in God and wait expectedly for Him; for I shall yet praise Him, Who is the help of my [sad] countenance, and my God.” (Psalms 43:2 AMP).

Father, what does my future look like?

I’m forever touched by God’s daily kindness toward me as He sweetly, tenderly reminds me, of how much I truly matter to Him by protectively clutching and preserving my soul. I’ve given my King complete custody of my heart and life because He has proven Himself a faithful refuge, time and again.
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