This morning I learned that while my three men and I slept snug in our beds dreaming dreams, a murder took place. On my street. Three houses down. After being raped she fought back killing her attacker...Memories came flooding back to a warm summer night three years ago. I was in the living room giving baby Man of the woods a bottle, Strong man was in the kitchen when we both heard it. Three gunshots. Strong man sent me and the baby upstairs while he called 911 and went into protection mode...Dark times.
Life is short. Life is hard. God is always good. The two don't seem to match up. Why would a good God allow such things to happen? In my life alone, I've watched a sister die, a youth pastor take advantage of me, families split, churches split, drugs take over, and attempted suicides. I've watched many "Christians" walk away from "the faith" and from each other when hard times come around. And yet God is good. God is always good. How can this be?
Could it be that without deep heart wrenching pain we are unable to begin to grasp grace. Without grace, is relationship even possible? I mean in my friendships if they don't show me grace then our friendship quickly fails.
Can I also ask why it is that Paul, a murder, was chosen BEFORE time by the Almighty? He was also the writer of most of the New Testament, the part of the Bible that is read far more among believers then any other part. Was he not the apostle to the gentiles the dirtiest of all people. Didn't he talk of himself as the chief of all sinners? Yet he knew grace more then any other author through out the generations before him. He found a way to bring grace into all of life; to make it tangable.
How about Jeremiah the prophet? All he knew was destruction, and yet God used those dark times to send a promise of grace. The new covenant is first mentioned in his writings. Not the first mention of the coming Messiah that goes all the way back to the fall. I'm talking about the part where God says there will be no need for the law for it will be on the hearts of those who love Him. Without Jesus we would still live in the times of the law. It's grace that's written on believers hearts.
I'm asking myself these questions as much as I am you. I prayed for this apartment. I asked God for everything in it. I never asked for a good neighborhood. Between this street and the next there are over a dozen pedophiles. A murder last year and one again. What was God thinking bringing my family here? What was I thinking praying for the looks of the new place and not the safety of my children? What am I to do now that the problems of the neighborhood aren't just on a computer screen, but I've seen with my eyes and heard with my ears the troubles that surround me? What am I to do? How does grace fit into this street of mine.