Monday, November 14, 2005

My World-View

It's changing.

Which is okay, but sometimes this new view leaves me with a heavy heart.

I'm learning more and more why living means that we will encounter pain in our lives. The obvious answer is that it all goes back to the garden and the Fall, but the more difficult answer, at least for me to hear, is that it's what I signed up for when I made the decision to have a relationship with Jesus.

I didn't know that's what I was getting in to.

I can flip through the books of the Bible, and I have yet to find any person that is mentioned that had a charmed life. Everyone had struggles. Everyone had big, horrible things that happened to them so that they could become who God wanted them to be.

When you sign up to Christianity, it's just part of the deal.

And I'm learning more and more why that is. It's only through those experiences, through those times of struggle and pain, that the parts of us that need to die can die, as long as we don't run away from pain, but embrace it. Pain leads to perserverence, perserverence to character, and character to hope.

We need pain. We should embrace it and keep a watchful eye out for difficult times so that we can best learn from it and listen to Him and to what He wants to speak to us during those times.

But back to my world view. I don't see people the same way anymore. I sit and people watch, wondering what difficult things they are struggling with and/or what difficult things lie ahead for them. I wonder if they have the hope of Christ that I have. It makes me ache for them. It isn't an easy thing for me to walk around the campus of this great hospital and see patients, young and old, and their families. I wonder, as I sit in the hospital McDonalds, who works at Vanderbilt and who are the family and friends of the patients. Sometimes I can tell, sometimes I can't. But even when I see the other employees here I wonder about their lives and their struggles, and I wish I could share my Hope with them....with all of them.

But I can't. They'd rush me up to the psych floor if I started preaching to random people. :o)

But I do look for more and more of those opportunities. I am trying so hard to be more gentle and patient with people because I don't know what kind of pain they're facing. I fail (a lot) but I'm trying.

Rick and I had a great time with our mentor life group last night. It seems as if pain and suffering and the topics of pain and suffering are following me where ever I go. That's what we talked about last night. And we left with people much older than me saying, things like, "We're supposed to be mentoring you!" and "He's got you and it's so obvious." But I only talk about my experiences and what I know through my experiences. And this, again, gives me a heavy heart, a burden to carry. It's becoming more and more obvious to me that there are so many people "out there" that are really hurting, and it hurts me to know that they don't have The Hope. It's a burden because I want them all to have it, but that I can't give it to them. I can't fix it.

Maybe one day everything will become clear to me and I'll finally understand why and what has been accomplished through my pain. But, until then, I've got an idea for a great book title, Where I've Walked (and that's copyrighted, people!).

7 Comments:

At 3:54 PM, Blogger Andrea said...

Amanda,

How could you ever think you are self centered, then write a piece like that. You have a heart of pure gold, girl.

~Andrea

 
At 7:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again, I am edified by your blog. I have a family member struggling with cancer who meets with the doctor at MD Anderson today to see if the pain and suffering of his chemo the past six weeks have affected the tumor growing aggressively in him. He is a strong Christian but has experienced many doubts about whatever could be the lesson in all this nightmare???? If you don't mind, I'll print this post to enclose in my next card to him. Thank you for your mature insights. God is so faithful! May He bless you with the vision of all the hearts who are moved to compassion because of your words.

 
At 8:23 AM, Blogger Amanda said...

Anon,

I don't mind at all. Actually, I'm honored.

 
At 1:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks. I can't wait until you write that book "Where I've Walked"!!!

 
At 12:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amanda,

I have tried e-mailing you at amanda@rickandamanda.com, but it was returned undeliverable. Do I have your address incorrect, or could your firewall be blocking my Juno account, or is there something else I should try?

Anonymous

 
At 12:56 PM, Blogger Amanda said...

Ok.

Try williamsad@comcast.net

 
At 3:03 PM, Blogger Preston said...

As Francois de Fenelon was fond of pointing out in his letters, God will bring the cross to whatever part of your old self that needs to die. When you feel pain, it is because your old self is alive still, because something that has died no longer feels pain. Encouraging words, but they remind me of how far I have to go, and how little of the cross I have tasted.

 

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