One uneventful evening, I headed to the grocery store for a few things. Cranking up the radio, I was immediately transported to the summer of 2000 as I sang along to the chorus of Offspring’s, Gone Away. The part where he sings “And it feels like heaven is so far away.”
Boy, how hard those words hit home. In this world where we are inundated every minute with news of all of the heartache, hate, and suffering of this world; sometimes it really does feel like heaven is so far away.
So very far away.
With the chorus still repeating in my head, I laid my items on the belt and shared pleasantries with the cashier. The elderly man pushes his glasses up and apologizes for the wait as his hands tremble pushing the buttons on the register. “I’m in no hurry. Take your time,” I tell him.
And again I think to myself, “So very far away.” This elderly man probably has to work because his small social security check won’t cover all of his expenses. Passing a man sitting on the curb in the parking lot with disheveled hair and torn clothing, again I think, “Oh, so very far away.” Reading a social media post of a child losing her battle with cancer, I think again, “So, so very far away.” Watching the news of yet another terror attack, I cry out, “Why? Why is heaven so far away?”
And then clear as day, I hear Him say “I am right here. It is not that far away.”
“Go ask that man at the grocery store to tell you about the first time he met the love of his life. He thanks me every day that he is able to work to cover his wife’s prescriptions,” He says.
“Talk to the man on the curb and ask him about his time in the Navy. You will see him sit up a little straighter and tell you the story of how he carried a small child out of a battlefield to safety.”
“Pray for those parents that lost their child to a wretched disease. It was time for that child to come home to me. The pain was too much, but she held on as long as she could for her parents,” He says.
“Look for my angels amongst the chaos. They are the ones holding people, carrying limp bodies from the rubble, pursuing the enemy, and falling to their knees in prayer,” He says.
“And now tell me why you were reminiscing about the summer of 2000. I remember seeing a young fearless, wide-eyed girl with a love for rock n’ roll falling in love with a charming boy with the same love of music that summer. And seventeen years later, I am still writing their story. Now go tell the world about my Oscar Winning movies that I write. Go tell the world about my love!”
When this world gets to be too heavy, go help your elderly neighbor with the groceries and share a cup of coffee while she tells you all about the first time she saw the love of her life.
Go sit at the park and marvel at the laughter of children playing.
Go hold someone’s hand that is battling through a tough time.
Go find a quiet spot to witness the Master at work when he paints the sky during a magnificent sunset.
Go be an angel to someone in need.
And when this world gets too heavy, close your eyes for a minute and thank the God above for all of the blessings.
And Go out into the world with His Armor.
For every ounce of suffering, there is a cup overflowing with compassion. Be the compassion in a world full of suffering.
Just for Fun Song
Taking you back to 1997. Lead singer, Dexter Holland, rocks some amazing blonde spiky hair. Did you know he has a Ph.D in Molecular Biology? Even punk rockers can be smart.
Gone Away -- Offspring
Let's Talk to God
Do the events around our world, in our country, in your community leave you with feelings of anxiety, depression, or fear? God doesn't want us to live that way. He wants us to put on the armor of Christ and show the world that we are God's chosen people and we will not fear anyone but God. Simply ask God for His strength and go out into the world with His courage.
Inspiring Quote / Verse
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms..." Ephesians 6:10-18 (NIV)