I'm glad Halloween is over (I'm done with the trying to explain/shield my little ones from bloody, hanging faces on on porches), and I'm glad that the salted, caramel mocha is not offered at Starbucks anymore (I was getting way too much sugar and calories from that thing). And yes, glad the election mud throwing is over, too.
In general, I'm glad we're in new month!
Thank you November for showing up. Thank you daylight savings for making my 5:30am wake-ups a wee bit easier. And thank you Starbucks for the Peppermint White Mochas. I simply needed the change, the change of season.
October felt like a fog, a deep heavy, wet, dry, hazy, month. Yes, all in one. It was tough.
I'm not trying to be all dark and "emo,"but I am still in process (and may be for some time) over the recent tragedy in my family that marked October for me. (See my last post).
Let me take it back, in this first of two posts, on what I experienced.
About four weeks ago I walked passed a group of kids. Third graders. They were doing what eight and nine year old boys do. They were climbing trees and throwing rocks. Not a big deal, right?
And I was on my way, somewhere, to do something important, at least I'm sure that's what I thought at the moment. When in a matter of twenty seconds something else became more important.
I heard one of the boys causally say, "Ugh, I'd rather kill myself ..then play ...(something about a game suggested by one of the other boys, etc)."
I didn't even catch the rest of what he was saying.
All I heard was, "I'd rather kill myself..."
Now, I didn't call the suicide prevention hotline or run to his aid and hold him in the fetal position. I knew he was just using a "figure of speech." Something many of us say on a regular basis say and mean nothing by it. It may hold the depth of equivalent to asking someone, "How are you," as we quickly pass them by.
Some of us even pull out our fake finger guns and pull the fake trigger to our heads when we describe our days. "Hey how was your day?" Cue:
And some reason on this day in early October, it hit me in a powerful way that I believe now has impacted me forever.
As I walked by those boys, in an instant I was having flashes of faces and experiences. My mind filled with experiences from my past where I had experienced first hand people who actually did kill themselves. Thankfully the number was low. Three to be exact. One was my good friend's father, and another was a good friend, someone Ia spent a lot of time with. This someone I had shared life with and prayed with a lot. Then one night he didn't show up to a normal hang out time, (which honestly, he flaked a lot so I didn't think anything of it). But the next morning I got the phone call no one ever wants to get. It was over 12 years ago, before I had a cell phone or texting abilities, but I still had that question in my mind, "What if I would have reached out, or called him just one more time?"
All these memories flooded back. I remembered where I was when I found out, what kind of day it was, what smell was in the air. It was overwhelming.
So I simply began to pray. I prayed for peace, and I prayed for people I hadn't prayed for in a while. People who might be still in the process of grief. People, who I'm sure, choke up at the sound of their loved one's name.
And then I felt God lead me to pray for others...others who might, at that very moment, be considering taking their own life.
Unexpected interruption of my day.
It was deep.
It felt odd, but not unusual, actually right, and comfortable.
God has lead me to pray for people I've never met many times. Kids in Africa, nameless slaves among the twenty-seven million, celebrities, etc.
But in this way, I thought, "Wow, Lord! Could I actually be praying for someone I know, or that I might even pass by today, who will preserve their life because you have intervened through your Spirit?'
It got me thinking, it got me excited. So, I simply prayed.
I had no idea what God was preparing me for......
1-Have you ever looked around and prayed for strangers?
2-Have you ever thought about the pain and heartbreak of those you live, work, and worship around?
(Those who look like everything is great on the outside, but might be dying from within?).
3-What if you let God interrupt you more, made "those" phone calls, and simply trusted God could work out his goodness in and through you no matter what?
Part 2 soon.