Wednesday, March 24, 2010

One Little Word: LOVED

I was reading my archives today - I know I read my blog way more than anyone else does - and came across a post from the beginning of January. I had forgotten all about this. 2010 was the third year that I encouraged my eighth graders to choose "one little word" to focus on. In 2009 I chose the word "LOOK" (here's what I wrote about it) but I hadn't chosen anything for 2010. I see now, though, that I wrote in my comments section that I was considering the word "LOVED." I wrote: "I am thinking of 'loved' this year - just a constant reminder of how much God loves me, not based on my performance but based on His character."

That feels ironic now. LOVED? Some people would say that God showed His love for me by saving my life and my family during the earthquake. But if that's true, what does that mean about the way He views the 230,000+ who died in those moments? Doesn't He love them? I might feel loved because of the way I have been taken in by the church and community where I am now, the help I have been given. But again, what about the millions who don't have those opportunities? At my worst, I'd have said that a better word for 2010 - for me and for Haiti - would be "ABANDONED" or even "FORSAKEN" (given the title of my blog).

I don't know how it all works, but I do know that in the middle of everything, and even in the depths of grief, I am loved. I am loved by people around me and I am loved by God. "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39). And if He loves me like that, He loves everyone like that. That love is there for the people in the tent cities too.

LOVED. I know that I am. I don't always feel it. It's hard to, when I'm away from my support systems - my husband, my friends, my church. And my job. We always say that it matters more who you are than what you do. Of course that's true, but I think we all get a large measure of our self-concept from what we do every day, and when that's ripped away without a chance to say goodbye, we don't feel as useful or significant as before. Or I should say, I don't feel useful or significant. I'm lonely. I'm sad. I'm a little bit pitiful, really. And yet, I'm LOVED. Whether I feel it or not. And for the rest of 2010, I'm going to try to remember it.


tumbleweedgirl said...

thanks for writing this. i have been reading here for a while, but never know what to say. i struggle with the love thing too, especially when i look at lia.

was she loved because she lived? what about children who don't survive? i hate those kinds of questions. hugs to you, i know things are hard. it's hard to be so far from everything you know, especially when you know that they are hurting.

Janet said...

Good thoughts. "Loved" is very hard to get the mind around. It's worth a year's effort.

These are beautiful pictures. Is that a tap-tap? We just read a picture book this morning about riding in a tap-tap.

Ruth said...

Thanks, both of you. Janet, yes, that's a tap-tap! They are works of art.

Anonymous said...

In the days right after the EQ, we were at DisneyWorld, having just run the marathon with Tara. We were told (mistakenly) that friends of ours were dead. This news was third-hand.. and I refused to believe it until I could hear it from someone IN Haiti, or from a Haitian. I was angry, because I did not want it to be true. I was terrified, because I knew it *could* be true. I was grief-stricken at the thought that it *might* be true. And yet, I also thought, IF it is true, our friends will never suffer again. IF it is true, they have everything they could ever dream and more.. WE are the ones that will suffer and grieve.

Of course I am relieved beyond words that our friends survived. All I mean to say is.. and I hope I said it without causing pain, because I know you are grieving.. that God loves those He brings home. And He loves us as well. God loves you in your suffering. He sees every tear.

I don't know "why" the earthquake..or RAD.. or any other suffering that we must endure. I only know that the more I have had to endure, the more I need to lean on God. I need to believe that there is a reason for it; that He has a plan.. even if I don't understand what it is (and I don't!).. I need to trust that He has one.

Sorry this is so long. Love to you.