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Process of elimination

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Joined: 17 Dec 2007
Posts: 42
Location: Hickory, NC

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 7:58 am    Post subject: Process of elimination Reply with quote

We have a church member going through a time of darkness right now. From my standpoint, incredible darkness. And I'm not sure how to help. The current situation has been a decade or more in the making, resulting in dissolution of marriage, bankruptcy, problems with kids, issues of physical and emotional health, and more. But there is a history here that goes back to a dysfunctional family in childhood and results in ongoing issues for spirit, mind, and body. This individual clearly has made some poor choices along the way. We have stepped in as a church family numerous times with hands-on help, counseling, and financial assistance to the point where some church leaders are no longer willing to help. Yet something happened again this week to make the financial darkness blacker and I don't know what to do next.

By eliminating what I can't do, I feel somewhat immobilized. I can't fix everything (my first tendency). I can't point an accusing finger like Job's friends - it's counterproductive, as Tim Laniak pointed out. I can't glibly quote Romans 8:28. I can't say, "I know what that feels like" because I don't. I can't send a check or offer a short-term answer - I've done all that and we're still in the same situation. But I can't turn away and recuse myself. I'm the shepherd here.

All I've done so far is to say again that I care. And that I'm ready again to sit down and talk through the whole picture, as we've done many times before. And I can pray again for God to send some light.

Darkness stories usually aren't told until light has flooded in. That was the way it was with Job. This individual/family is still in the dark. By process of elimination, all I know to do is wait and pray and be available.
Bob Thompson
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Joined: 14 Feb 2008
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 11:38 am    Post subject: Before the light comes Reply with quote

I really appreciate your honesty Bob. Most testimonies are only given in the light, after the darkness has left. Your choice to stay there, without answers, is an important example for all of us. Sitting in the dark with people in need - especially when we are supposed to be care-givers - creates one of the most helpless feelings I know.
I've recently been in touch again with someone whose conditions on all fronts are deteriorating rapidly. I have nothing at all to offer except being there in Christ's name. It's amazing how naked that feels. I think of the disciples who were sent out "with nothing but a staff."
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