approaching darkness…

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This is probably one of the darkest posts I will ever make.

As I watched the handiwork of my artistic daughter’s handiwork, I was suddenly struck with sadness. The same thought that penetrated my heart when my father died settled sadly on my heart. If she were to be gone from this world, there would be a hole that could never be filled by anyone else again. Just like my dad.

The loss of anyone on this planet is a loss of an incredible gift to the world. It can never be duplicated. It can never be recreated. Nor can it be replaced.

Each person has a unique gift. No one has exactly the same experiences or talents. Not even so-called “astral twins”.

Our world is on a pace set to lose billions of innocent lives at a very rapid rate. We are on the brink of something unprecedented. Many feel that deep down in their very being.

And now, we are headed to war. We are watching it on our televisions with indifference. Yet it progresses.

This is a war that is on a global basis. It is a war that had already begun long before the first bullet was fired in Kyiv.

This was is a war within our culture that pits us against each other without firing a shot. It is a war for the very heart and soul of each human being. It reaches far beyond the borders of nations.

There is not one person who has not been touched. There is not a person who will not be touched.

On the brink…

First they came for the Communists

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the Socialists

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a trad unionist.

Then they came for the Jews

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me

And there was no one left

To speak out for me.

By Pastor Martin Niemöller, (1892-1984)

Historically, we are on the brink of something far greater than we have ever experienced. The day has arrived. The warning to prepare has gone out with a clarion cry for the past century.

And we are continuing to hide our heads in the sand. Just like we did throughout history.

“It will never happen here.”

“It won’t happen to us.”

Yet it is already underway. And, deep down, we all feel it if we would just let go of our distractions.

The sadness at the loss of the creativity, experiences, skills, reasoning, contributions, personalities that create a human being will be immeasurable. It will be the greatest waste in human history.

Only those with Faith greater than the holocaust to come will be able to cling to the thin thread we call “Life”. It is certain. It is sure. And it is coming.


First and foremost, pray. Pray that you will be stronger than the loss should you be a survivor. Pray that you will have the Graces to stand firm when times are hard.

And pray that you will accept all things in accordance with the Will of the Creator. God will never give you anything beyond your strength, nor leave you without the Grace necessary to stand.


Offer forgiveness for those small slights. Forgive those who have harmed you or come against you.

Often times is is a misunderstanding that gets in the way of relationships. Assuming the worse intent from anyone is the first step toward bitterness. And that bitterness does not go away readily.

When you forgive even the smallest slight from your neighbor instead of rising up in fury today is preparation for that which is to come. If you cannot forgive the small slights, you will fall when the bigger trials come.


Let go of technology. Turn off the news feeds. And fast from food.

Learn to live with less. This life holds incalculable opportunities enabling you to strive towards perfection.

We must learn to let go. We must learn to surrender to that which is our chosen lot by God. And we must surrender completely to Him.

The harder it will be, the more beneficial it will become for you. And for others. You are the example those outside observe.

We must not cling to the things of this earth. It is hard. And it shakes us to our comfortable core.

Letting go comes the moment times get tough, work is lost, wages are cut, bank accounts are frozen, houses lost, opportunities thwarted, mission statements unable to be fulfilled, and all the positive thinking in the world does not stay the hand of the executioner. You must be willing to surrender all for something greater.


No matter haw hard it may be, love your enemy.

Starting with something small, like a stranger who cuts you off in traffic, or your child who breaks your antique treasure in a fit of temper, will be the means to train you to love.

Love comes from a heart of mercy. Mercy is the display of forgiveness in the small things. These small sacrifices allow the other person can have the chance to grow.


A person grows in personal strength through the example of others.

History is replete with examples of holy men, women, and children who bore witness to atrocities, yet chose to return hatred with forgiveness.

The example often turned the hearts of their persecutors toward a deeper introspection of their own actions.


A movie entitled, “Sabina”, by Voice of the Martyrs show the life of two atheists who took on that challenge. It cost them dearly.

It is a story of conversion. That conversion spills over into acts of charity (not in the form of donations as we in the West perceive this term) toward their enemies. Even at the cost of overcoming the heart wrenching loss of Sabina’s entire family at the hands of a Nazi German.

As hard as it was for them, the Wurmbrants helped their enemy find shelter. They opened up the shelter of their home to him. They embraced him in their hearts and forgave him.

And it touched deeply in the heart of their persecutor.

The Wurmbrants were brave enough to act out their values. They did not shun their obligation to show kindness to their enemy.

Sabina’s enemy had a change of heart. He became their friend and ally.

And they are not alone…

One man keeps coming to mind. He ran the most brutal interrogation centers in Cambodia. Those under his watch rarely lasted a full week as they underwent unspeakable tortures.

The prison was called, “S-21”. Only 12 of the 12,000-14,000 prisoners have survived. The torturous regime of the Khmer Rouge used force to suppress their opposition. The battle scars of emotional torments remains with anyone fortunate enough to have escaped the hands of the Khmer Rouge.

The head of the camp, Kang Kek Lew, was responsible for every life lost under his watch.

The Apostle Paul who rounded up innocent lives to be stoned to death for their conversion to Christianity. He believed the teachings of hatred that he was taught in the Temple. St. Paul had a change of heart through a dramatic conversion.

After his wife was mysteriously attacked and killed at their home on the border of Thailand, Kang Kew Lew sold everything he had and began to attend prayer meetings in Battambang. By the acts of love and understanding he encountered there, he embraced the very people he had killed.

And he reflected on what he had done.He had killed and tortured innocent people and destroyed the lives of those they touched. He is quoted as saying, “I don’t know if my brothers and sisters can forgive the sins I’ve committed against the people.”

Cambodia opened up a special court to try those responsible for atrocities committed against their people. In 2009, Kang voluntarily turned himself in. He spoke in this trial some very moving words:

“I am solely and individually liable for the loss of at least 12,380 live. I still and forever wish to most respectfully and humbly apologize to the dead souls.”

Hypocrisy or honesty?

To most Americans today, they would scoff at such a conversion. The very notion of forgiveness is foreign to them. We are a nation of vengeance seekers. Tit for tat, as the saying goes.

“If you offended me in any way, I’ll make sure you pay!”

And we do. Even to the detriment of the livelihood of the innocent. Even to the point of digging up small offenses from a person’s past to prove their point. No one is off their radar.

Mercy is not a part of our society anymore. We want justice. We want this justice to be enacted through powers they do not control. It could be through the overreach of a governmental enactment, or through manipulation of the court systems. If the lust for vengeance is satisfied, we don’t care what harm that justice creates in its wake.

We are a brutal nation. And we no longer have a soul that allows forgiveness.

Hypocrites criticize other people for failing to follow some moral high ground. Yet their behavior fails to conform to those same principles.

We are experts in this field.

Time for mercy…

It is time to regain the virtue of mercy. Recognizing that not everyone is as perfect as we think we are is a start.

Then take this idea a step further.


Mercy isn’t an easy virtue to attain. It is far easier to criticize than to forgive .

If you change, be grateful. Grace must be in the mix. It is the energy that changes hardened hearts.

You cannot do it on your own. You must be willing to open the door to your heart just a crack to let the Light of Grace to shine in. It only takes a sliver to shine on the ugliness we all hide inside. But you have to be willing to reach outside yourself and ask for help.

You will grow stronger. Any losses you will encounter along the way will be more than compensated.

Once you master this idea, pass that action mercy forward so that others, too, can become better.


It is time for Grace to shine. We cannot do it on our own. If we truly want to make a change in this world away from the hatred and killing (even harsh words kill), the we need to start with ourselves.

Purposefully destroying the life or livelihood of anyone is unconscionable.

The act of forgiveness toward those who persecute pays dividends.

Nothing replaces loss more than mercy. And mercy comes from Grace. It is the reflection of God’s Love for mankind through the benevolence of His people. His real people – the ones who actually practice what they believe.

And it isn’t just an act. It is an action.

If we don’t ask for forgiveness for our own offenses against others, we won’t be able to forgive anyone else.

Start by asking for forgiveness…

It begins in desire. And it dwells in the heart through prayer.

Showing mercy to others enables forgiveness.

Right now, we are comfortable with all of our material gain and full bellies. We feel untouched by the harsh realities of dark clouds that are welling up around us.

If we continue to dislike those who are not like us, we will continue to feed this culture of hatred.

Make the change…

Take time this Lent, these 40 days and beyond, to reflect on what is truly in your heart.

Remember the lives you’ve touched.

Live your values. Seek to better yourself.

And learn to love and forgive others.

It isn’t about you.

It’s about us.

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