Last Friday night Rick and Kay Warren lost their youngest child, their son Matthew. He killed himself because the pain of living became too overwhelming.
Just this morning I read a quote from Kay Warren when she spoke in Greensboro, NC at the Anglican Mission in the Americas Winter Conference February 15, 2011:
"In the last two and
a half years, our fourth grandchild nearly died at birth during an emergency C
section. Seven weeks later, our daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor and
had to undergo 26 hours of brain surgery with a long recovery. Our daughter had
severe auto immune disease, my mother slid mentally into dementia which made me
the primary caretaker. On top of all this, our youngest child struggles with
bipolar disease and has found it difficult to keep going. We have hung on by a
thread of a finger nail," she told a stunned audience. Warren said there
have been struggles in her marriage to Rick, and stress in her walk with God.
Through it all she says her walk with God has become stronger, deeper, richer
and more intimate. "I have great family and friends. I am embarrassed to
be in need. There is no big girl pill nor can I simply chill out." She
added, "When I realize because of God's extravagant lavish love for me,
and that I am his beloved, I can survive the painful circumstances that come
into our lives. "We need to tell people that they are the beloved of God.
In doing so we remove the shame, it removes the guilt over sins I can't
conquer. We are called to be messy with people and be with people in tremendous
need. When you know you are His beloved and not God's bother you risk it all
for Him. People may persecute you and hate you but you know also how much God
--By David W. Virtue www.virtueonline.org
Her words: We are called to be messy with people and be with people in tremendous need. When you know you are His beloved and not God's bother you risk it all for Him. challenge me!
The emergence of social media is an interesting dynamic where it is possible to see people sharing all kinds of things both trivial and personal. I wonder if these (for want of a better term, social media groupies - which, in some ways, includes me as I also enjoy Twitter, FB and Pinterest) realize their posts will forevermore be somewhere for all the world to see and know or be buried in some archive only to slither forth to bite them another day. Maybe my social media friends are just braver than I. I prefer to think that I am just more wisely cautious than they but who can say?
For some time now, I have been contemplating how to fit this observation (about social media) and my musings into a paradigm. I have to honestly admit that a major "hold-me-back" is having been there and done that when things come back to bite me. I seriously don't want to bring that kind of pain on myself! I have been and am a pastor's wife - more than 40 years. I have seen joking and innocent words and actions twisted in unbelievable ways. I have seen bold, risky messy ministry turned into attack opportunities.
It is impossible to catch feathers in the wind which is what spiteful, lying words become. I have lived that awful, ugly pain of being stabbed in the back when I was guilty of little more than being willing to participate in God's call to costly "messy ministry."
I have a friend who is also a pastor's wife. She has struggled with serious depression issues. She has two special needs daughters. I read her blogs and I marvel at her transparency. I benefit from her honesty and am blessed. She has been a major challenge to my heart in my contemplations!
Now I read Kay Warren's comments and I wonder if Kay hasn't cut to the heart of where I need to "camp out" and plant my feet asking God to embolden my fears -
We need to tell people that they are the beloved of God. In doing so we remove the shame, it removes the guilt over sins I can't conquer. We are called to be messy with people and be with people in tremendous need. When you know you are His beloved and not God's bother you risk it all for Him. People may persecute you and hate you but you know also how much God loves you."
Just sayin' ... and still thinkin'