In James 1:19 it states: “My dear friends, You should be quick to listen and slow to speak or get angry.” I grew up lacking a good role model in this area. People around me were quick to get angry, no listening occurred, and unfortunately people spoke too quickly words that pierced my heart deeply. Wounded people who grew older around me grew up only to do the same to people they were not like, or inflicted their anger on those who struggled with things that were misunderstood. Diversity is the one thing that America has identified with over the years, sometimes with great rejection, then other times with a heart of compassion. I used to go into nursing homes, I did this for 35 years. My heart was with those who sensed that they had been forgotten by their loved ones, in some cases there were no loved ones left to hold their hand to tell them things were going to be alright. It was what I believed I was meant to do- to go, sing with them, many knew the old hymns, as if they were long lost love ones coming to call and kindled sweet memories that brightened their day. Many of these souls rededicated their lives to God, some just before they passed on into their eternal home. I never sang without asking each soul if they knew Jesus, as Lord and Savior. Most of them quickly, willingly gave their hearts to Him. I guess , as with anything the value that is placed on who you are is compromised a great deal as one simply struggles to live. Past presidents, past teachers, people who spent their entire lives working for the gospel, doctors, lawyers, poets, scholars , every walk of life are quite equal when life has come to a place where our daily needs to live outweigh the diversity issues, the differences of opinion, the differences of who we are. Those rare few who are sharp to the very end of course may continue to express at will- this and that about who they are. I just read C.S Lewis , “The Problem of Pain”. This quote was powerful and tied into this: ” The human spirit will not even begin to try to surrender self-will as long as all seems to be well with it. Now error and sin both have this property, that the deeper they are, the less their victim suspects their existence, they are masked evil. Pain is unmasked, unmistakable evil; every man knows that something is wrong when they are being hurt.” Another quote from The Problem of Pain”, “A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word ‘darkness’on the walls of his cell.” There is , in my opinion- a heart cry in every man to let go of all pain and surrender all the pain to a God whose love refuses to remember all the bad things of the past. His love accepts us as we are, full of pain, unable to carry that pain without His help, He alone sets us free from the pain of the past.
I want to begin today by using a quote from C.S.Lewis, then one from his friend J.R.R. Tolkien: C.S. Lewis: “My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has