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A star in the shadows

July 18, 2016

star“For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”

I always feel June is like December.  June is frantic with busyness and end of year this and thats.  I always struggle with this end of year madness.  For reasons that will unfold, this summer has brought an even greater feeling of weariness.  Travelling to the counselling room I felt tired even before I started.  Certain clients I was meeting gave me a heavy in the heart pit feeling that continued into the summer.  I couldn’t really explain it. Until now.
The summer has Britt and I glued to the BBC News each night witnessing some historic moments in British politics. The Referendum, Brexit and subsequent leaders resigning. The Chilcot Enquiry raising doubts and questions over the Iraq War. Donald Trump stating if he is elected President he will go to war with ISIS.  Comments that give rise to what David Ford has called “multiple overwhelming’s”.

Fear takes rein and you wonder if it is safe to fly or travel on the undergrounds in London this summer.  Worldwide violence from shootings not far from our old house in Orlando, to horror in Nice made us both heart sick and wondering why? Why is there so much hatred and violence that only leaves pain for families and loved ones? Nobody wins in this battle.  I think the weariness I felt counselling was made more intense because of these events, and also because of the on-going internal battle of pain and mental health my clients are facing.  Everyday seems hard for them and I suppose I questioned my hope for them.  Hope is the very one thing that is foundational for me. As Britt taught yesterday, we all need to hear stories of hope and encouragement, to know that God has not abandoned us or has left that person dangling.

There seems to be so much darkness in people’s lives and in the situations they are facing. I see in their lives a lingering dark shadow with nowhere for them to turn.  Then I doubt God.  Doubt His ability.  Doubt my own ability.  So, it was refreshing to be reminded of a quote from Tolkien.  In The Return of the King, Sam and Frodo are in a difficult place.  They are tired and overwhelmed and all around is just darkness and eerie shadows.  Then Sam looks up to the mountains a sees a white star twinkling in the sky. The beauty of it spoke right into his heart: “For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty forever beyond its reach”.

Despite the shadows lurking in people’s minds or situations, or the shadows of terror that looms over the world, I have to believe there is a brighter light.  A source of beauty.  The television overwhelms us with horror, but equally fails to s2016.07 children smilinghow us the good.  There are stories of many people helping, supporting, trying to bring beauty out of dirt.  There are stories out there of rescue and warm hugs, meals being cooked, and friends walk the pathway with each other.

This song deeply ministered to my soul today as I leaned gently against the window, took in the beauty of the greens and blues and pondered how wonderful it will be when all tears have been cried, all sighs and weariness spent, and Jesus will be waiting, waiting with His overwhelming, generous love.

I hope as you ponder the lyrics, they will also touch your heart.  You can also listen to it here (Youtube of “After the Last Tear Falls”).

After The Last Tear Falls by Andrew Peterson (on the album Love and Thunder)

After the last tear falls
After the last secret’s told
After the last bullet tears through flesh and bone
After the last child starves
And the last girl walks the boulevard
After the last year that’s just too hard

There is love
Love, love, love
There is love
Love, love, love
There is love

After the last disgrace
After the last lie to save some face
After the last brutal jab from a poison tongue
After the last dirty politician
After the last meal down at the mission
After the last lonely night in prison

There is love
Love, love, love
There is love
Love, love, love
There is love

And in the end, the end is
Oceans and oceans
Of love and love again
We’ll see how the tears that have fallen
Were caught in the palms
Of the Giver of love and the Lover of all
And we’ll look back on these tears as old tales

‘Cause after the last plan fails
After the last siren wails
After the last young husband sails off to join the war
After the last “this marriage is over”
After the last young girl’s innocence is stolen
After the last years of silence that won’t let a heart open

There is love
Love, love, love
There is love

And in the end, the end is
Oceans and oceans
Of love and love again
We’ll see how the tears that have fallen
Were caught in the palms
Of the Giver of love and the Lover of all
And we’ll look back on these tears as old tales
‘Cause after the last tear falls
There is love

PLEASE LISTEN AND ENJOY–AND MAY IT MINISTER TO AND SOOTHE YOUR HEART.

 

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