What will be my last earthly activity is just a stronger way of asking ourselves – what will we be remembered for after we die.
We know that the last thing we see or do is always what everyone remembers.
Like the police officer who rushed into an active shooting situation and, as a result, died while saving others. Yet…
Does anyone remember how he signed his children’s report card the night before – after having a big celebration for their achievements, even the C-level child?
How about the hot cup of coffee that he took to his wife in bed that morning before heading out to another day on the job?
Does anyone remember that he was a guest speaker that morning at an elementary school about being a police officer, while letting the children try on his hat and badge – careful to leave his gun in his patrol car?
Does anyone remember that he bought lunch for a homeless person a few hours before?
This is not about a particular police officer. It could be about all people and how we chose to go about the moments in our daily lives. And yes, all will remember the last moment that their life was touched – either good or bad – by each of us.
I want to share a harrowing season in my life that has actually made me listen to the voice of my heart. It was an experience that no person should have to go through. It was a result of trying to stand up for what is right – in the right way. But the injustice came from mankind and old ways of belief. It is ‘man’s inhumanity to man’ of deceit and cruelty and of using God’s name in vain that is not of God. And for the first time, I scratch my head and wonder how I got to be this age without seeing that clearly.
I have been stalked for over a year in every sense of the legal definition. I was forced to get security cameras on my home, to tell people where I was going and when I would return, to leave the YMCA where I exercised, and to find a grocery store farther away.
The most difficult thing in this was that I was forced for safety reasons to leave my church.
You may ask, what? Why? Isn’t church supposed to be a place of safety and one to experience the peace of God? But, my stalker was there replacing my worship with sinister behavior and no one could help me. My last blog was “No means No” written to the stalker who reads my blog over and over (yes, I see it on my dashboard).
If you haven’t noticed, the church is rapidly becoming the nesting spot in the world’s spiritual warfare. Evil’s attitude of entitlement is the core of this warfare because evil elevates itself above others.
When this happens we must be on guard. How do we recognize and defeat it?
First, we begin, all of us including the pastor, by living in the mindset of Christ, with a servant mind guided by the Holy Spirit. Philippians 2:3-5 New International Version (NIV) is a reminder:
“3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus”.
We are about to enter the season of Advent, celebrated by Christians who spend time in spiritual preparation for the coming of Jesus Christ. Jesus, born in a stall in a manager. Jesus who washed the feet of His disciples. Jesus, the son of God who died for us.
This advent season reminds me that God sent His only begotten Son to earth that we might have eternal life through the forgiveness of our sins. It is so simple, we only have to ask. My thoughts and prayers as I light each candle will be to remind myself of this, while I also remind myself not to allow the evil of earthly things that try to poison my joy.
We should remember that God doesn’t always call the prepared. Instead, he prepares those who respond to his call. It is this call that brings us through and out of the dark into the light.
God called upon and sent a circle of people to surround me, a reminder that through them, He is with me. I pulled my hope and strength from their loving arms, their positive energy and the fact that like God, they see me with eyes that recognize my imperfections and protected me from this evil with their love anyway. This is how I came through the darkness.
I continue to hold tightly to my faith; regardless of the evil that often tries to destroy it. I will live it each moment of each day so that only my faith will be the lasting memory that I leave.
God’s got this. Peace and love to all.