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One of the reasons there are more believers outside the organized church than within it these days was evident today. A dear friend of mine lost her home to fire and nearly lost her life and those of two of her adult children. Nearly! One of the children, a 20 yr old, fell asleep smoking. He woke up and saw the flames, poured water on them and thought the fire was extinguished. It was not. He went upstairs to bed. Meanwhile the flame smoldered producing a gas which at some point spontaneously ignited. The power of the flame blew out the front window and flames spread quickly in the older frame home. My friend and her 18 yr old daughter were upstairs. They became trapped, but pushed out the window ac unit and climbed out onto their roof. Coaxed by helpful neighbors, the two jumped at least 5 ft to the neighbor’s roof. They survived with some burns, but they will recover. The house and its contents are a total loss.

The response by one of their leaders to questions from those wanting to help, was typical to my experience. “Yes, it’s terrible, but God is doing a GREAT thing in the midst of it.” I have no doubt God is in fact God – therefore He will redeem the situation. That, however, does not negate the fact that this family lost EVERY-THING, and they deserve a time to mourn their loss!!!!

Why is it so hard for some Christian leaders to admit and face genuine pain without condemnation? Bad things happen to wonderful people, sometimes. Sometimes sick people die. Sometimes marriages fall apart. Sometimes accidents happen. Some times there is not a platitude answer for the situations that arise in life. And That is OK!!!! Yes, for the believer, good will alway, always, always come from the every situation … eventually, but there is real pain that needs to be addressed. There is real mourning that needs to be experienced. Why is that so hard for many to deal with without pronouncing it as sin?

Pain is a part of life. It cannot be avoided. Accidents happen. When the church accepts this and learns how to love the victims through their pain, Jesus will become more real and more visible to those inside and outside.

Help us, Lord!