On Fridays, I indulge myself with 80 minutes of hot yoga.  I have never really liked yoga.  It is a bit slow for the runner in me.   I always find myself thinking, “Can we just run around the room or something?”   It is so slow, so purposeful.  My patience wears thin about 15 minutes into the class.

Hot yoga seemed even worse.

“Why would anyone want do that?”

100 degrees + yoga = crazy.

Alas, I guess I am a bit crazy, because I had to try it.  And, over the past year, I have found that it quiets my soul, strengthens my body and forces me to slow down.  I have grown to love it.

Last Friday, I was in my usual yoga class, doing my usual thing when I began sobbing.  You know, the ugly sobbing that you reserve only for the darkness of your bedroom at night.  Problem was, I wasn’t in my bedroom.  I was in a room with 25 other people so over taken with grief that I was sobbing uncontrollably.  Luckily the music was loud enough that no one heard me.

I eventually got up and left.

In that moment, in the dark of my yoga class, as I indulged in my 18th downward dog, I realized that some other mommy across the world was holding her child for the last time.  She was looking into their eyes knowing that she couldn’t protect them.

While I get the opportunity each night to put my kids safely into their beds and to pick them up from school and to pray with them, another probably more faithful momma, cannot tell her children that things will be alright.

At that very moment, her children might even have to watch her die at the hands of ISIS.  My despair over ISIS was overwhelming.

How does she go on?  What goes through her mind when she looks into the eyes of her children?  What does she do when she knows that this might be the last time she holds her husband’s hand and that he also is most likely facing a cruel death?

Too much.

TOO MUCH.

The sorrow and the unfairness are too much for me to take.

Why am I so very blessed?  Why is my life, even with the struggles we have, so comfortable, compared to that family?

I don’t know.

My guess is I will never know.

What am I to do?  I am a million miles away.  I have no idea what to do about ISIS.  I have no tangible idea how to offer comfort.  I’ll donate money to a couple of causes and hope they can provide some relief, but I know that will not be enough.

And so as I carried this burden through the weekend, I finally awoke yesterday with some vision of what I am to learn from this suffering and these mom’s across the world.  I am sure this is not all I can do or learn, but this is my start.

1.    Who Am I to Second Guess God?

I will remain burdened and it’s my hope that my heavy heart will lead to some life giving actions.  But, the bottom line is that God didn’t put me there.  He put me here.  He put me here with the family and friends and comforts I have.  While my heart is heavy and I certainly need to move toward helping those who are treated so unjustly in this world, God has me right where he wants me.

What does that mean?

It means that I need to be sharing God’s love and truth with those that I can touch each and every day.  Most days I have a to-do list a mile long.  Is sharing God’s love on that list?  And not only is it on the list, but is it a part of every other thing on the list?   It is not just a box to be checked, but also something that happens at each and every encounter and in each and every task.

 

2.  My Children Need to Know God

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This is just a guess, but I would suspect that the Christian moms and dads being threatened by ISIS are diligently teaching their children about the love of Christ.  Why?  Because in suffering, we realize our utter helplessness and our dire need for God.  These parents know that their children desperately need God TODAY, not tomorrow, not when the church gets around to teaching it to them, not when they “figure it out” for themselves and now when we “figure it out,” but today.  They need God today.

Deuteronomy 6:5-9 says….

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

 

I have heard these verses before.  But it is so easy to get distracted from them.  For example, how many pictures and sayings do we have on our walls?  10?  20?  And do any of them say anything about God?  Are any of them Biblical?   No, I actually don’t think so.  I don’t think we have anything Biblical on our walls.

Do I talk about God all day with my children or do I rely on the church once a week to fill them up, as if that is enough?  With everything else they face and is impressed upon them each week, once a week at church is not enough.

As I read on, to Deuteronomy 10-13, I was further convicted.

“When the Lord your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you — a land with large flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of goo things your did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant – then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” 

 

I am blessed.

In my blessings, may I not forget the Lord who has delivered me.

May I realize that my children’s talents and their intellect are not as important as their faith and their fate.

I might not be able to save every man, woman and child in the Middle East but I can do my part to save as many people here as possible starting with my own children.

I know I can do more.  I know we need to do more, but this is where I will start on this day.

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