Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Great (07/06/06)
- TITLE: R.S.V.P.'s Response
By Debora Dyess
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I found your letter. It saddened me, but I’d like to address some of your fears and frustrations. Consider this your R.S.V.P.
I felt your frustration at inadequate finances for living. That phrase ‘too much month at the end of the money’ may make a great song, but it doesn’t make a very great month. I’ve been there. No matter how hard you try sometimes you can’t tighten the proverbial belt any tighter.
And the war…My brother-in-law recently returned from Iraq. He saw things there that make me sick (and he didn’t share everything with us—the diluted version was enough). But he saw good there, too. He saw children unafraid to go into their streets, women with new pride and hope. He saw individuals struggling to understand how, for the first time in their adult lives, they could govern ad think for themselves. He was able to share his faith with an Iraqi man who thanked him and agreed to consider something banned from his world only months before. My brother-in-law returned with hope for that country.
But we don’t need to go nearly that far to find hopelessness and fear, do we? In my town, small as we are, there are children left alone, elderly neglected and, although we haven’t yet had a drive-by, we know we’re not exempt. As much as we like to hang onto our ‘Mayberry’ image I haven’t see Andy or Barney walking our streets. But know this—it’s not only the wolf that stands at the ready. We’re there, also—a small, dedicated group who volunteer in the community, share our hope and run interference for the good guys. Discouraging? Sometimes. Frustrating? Sure. But that wolf won’t come here without a fight—these are my streets, my kids, my town. I won’t give them up without giving my all to save them.
And that boy you met? My husband was once that boy. His earliest memories are stealing food to survive, watching his drunken mother walk away from the house and strangers coming to take him and his siblings to a foster home that wasn’t that much better than home. He was told by his new foster mom that he was ‘blue triangle’. All the blue triangle items, bed, shoes and clothes, were assigned to him—fit or not, they were his until he left her ‘care’. But at eight he was adopted by a couple eager to become good parents. He entered a new world—vacations, gifts and love. Life hasn’t been easy. There’ve been trials because of those early years. But today he’s loved and respected by our children, his coworkers and a church family that considers his wisdom and insights important to our small community. And I adore him. So, while he once considered his life worthless—less than the value of a lottery ticket—today he knows a greater plan for his life, a greater purpose, and he pursues it with passion.
You say we’re a world of empty shells. To that I’d nod my head sadly and agree—that’s a big part of our world. Violence and hopelessness go hand in hand through our streets.
Have you ever wondered why? Have you ever looked into the face of that little boy or that elderly woman, the teen mom or the disabled neighbor and wondered why their lives have spiraled into this state of sorrow and despair?
There’s an answer.
And there is a solution.
Remember the plan my husband found for his life—the purpose? Remember the volunteers in our community and my church family? We’ve all discovered one thing. It’s where our hope is based…where our lives are based. We’ve come to understand what others have not, although our understanding isn’t exclusive.
We know the most important truth of life.
God is real.
No matter what you’ve been told by the empty shells of this world let me assure you that He is there. I wish I had words to let you see into my heart. What you’d find there is Him—His love, compassion…His great ad incredible gift of forgiveness and hope.
And while I’ll do my best to seek you out, to find you in time, please understand that you must look, too.
Seek God. Look in His Word, look in His church, look in the people who have found His hope. Please look.
Because I’m looking for you. And so is He.
I hope we find each other.
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