I've posted the entire writing in today's post to save you from having to look back.
August 22, 2009
While sitting at the Dempster Grove Camp Ground for their final meeting this evening the The Master’s Touch Chorale was closing their performance with the songs the “Angels Looked Down” by J. Paul Williams and Craig Curry and the “Easter Song” by Anne Hetting; att. Mark Hayes. The “Angels Looked Down” gave me goose bumps when I read it in the program yet when they started to sing, I was silenced in my spirit. I felt as if the Lord was singing directly to me through the group. As I listened to the words being sung and the beautiful music I felt the Lord pressing me to both think and write. The thought He placed on my heart and fingers is this – Heidi was kidnapped on the most precious and important days in church history. Awestruck with the revelation! Only God could do this!
I have struggled for over fifteen years to understand why God allowed my sister to be kidnapped and on Easter of all days. I didn’t have a relationship with Jesus the day my sister disappeared. I didn’t have a relationship with Him for a good majority of the time following her disappearance. Yet, the best thing that has happened through this experience is I was humbled at the feet of Jesus. I took all my pain, anger and blame and gave it to God. It was quite the temper tantrum and our amazing Father opened His arms and wrapped them around me. I took to Him all my bitterness and He replaced it with hope and love, and His ever so rapid growing seed of Faith in Jesus. Although life took a tragic detour on April 3, 1994 – God used this bump in my spiritual road to show me the Truth. I’m not saying I wouldn’t love to have my sister here with me, because I miss her so much I find myself daydreaming of the day I see her again but the reality of my life is this – my sister WAS abducted and my life will be forever changed!
Change doesn’t always have to be bad. Losing a loved one to abduction is TERRIBLE but God is bigger than any tragedy we will suffer here on earth. As the choir sang “Angels Looked Down” I closed my eyes and felt God holding me and talking to me – He told me to remember He looked down with his Heavenly angels on Jesus on the day of his crucifixion. Similarly, He was looking down on Heidi when she was abducted and murdered. While sitting in the tabernacle and listening to the angels sing – God sang a hope and peace into my heart. He sat there holding me and comforting me throughout the song. Simply loving me and reminding me – He always has a plan and it isn’t mine to understand. Only God could be providing the much needed comfort with a tap of truth. I’ve blamed God for leaving Heidi alone to such tragedy when we couldn’t help her. God never left her – He was with her through it all, holding her like He was holding me tonight. The abduction being on Easter wasn’t a mistake or a punishment. It is a blessing – a blessing much disguised.
I opened my eyes and there were smiles abound yet I didn’t feel like smiling. Instead I wanted to fall on my knees with a bowed head and thank God for sitting with me. I wanted to humble myself before God, just as Jesus had done so many years before. Instead I sat with eyes closed continuing to praise God for all He has done, is doing and hopes to do in my life. I apologized for not seeing the beauty in the day of her disappearance. I’m not saying it was a great or even good day in my life. Please don’t misunderstand me – I love my sister and miss her every day. The point I am trying to express is this – If God is gracious enough to share the day of His Son’s resurrection with my sister, then I should be thankful. I am thankful for a God that loved my sister enough to share this most precious and special day with her and with me. It is because Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead – that I am reborn and walking with hope for tomorrow.
As I listened, I prayed to stay focused and calm. God hadn’t come to upset me but to help me and answer questions that plague my heart. The choir transitioned to the second to last song, “Easter Song”. The words to this song instantly brought tears to my eyes as God continued to bless me. The song speaks of hearing the “bells ringing” and “singing Christ is risen from the dead.” Each time a bell sounded my heart jumped. I felt as if Jesus was healing a burden I didn’t know was still there when the next verse I heard sung about the bells giving me healing “right now”. God will reveal and heal. The same angels that looked down on Jesus were surrounding us to share Jesus power and love for us. We need only recognize this need and invite Him in into our hearts and lives. It is one of the best things that have happened to me since my sister disappeared – new life. God restored me and healed me again this evening. The song ended with some “He is risen” and “Hallelujahs” and I will end the same way.
God knows our hurts, fears and desires. I’ve prayed and wondered if I would see my sister in heaven some day. It sometimes causes my heart to break at the thought of not having eternity with her yet tonight God replaced those feelings with peace and hope. God didn’t leave His Son to die alone and He didn’t leave Heidi alone. Jesus prayed to God, “Why” and then let God’s will be done. I believe God spoke to me tonight as He held me in His arms. He used the words of the songs and the angelic voices singing to speak. He whispered in my ear. Jesus died as the sacrifice for us – God was there for Heidi and He gave me the hope tonight of Heidi calling to Him, “Jesus save me!” He is faithful – thank you Jesus – Hallelujah!”