Saturday, April 20, 2013

Missing in Action

Whatever is true, 
whatever is honorable, 
whatever is right,
whatever is pure, 
whatever is lovely, 
whatever is of good repute,
if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise,
dwell on these things.
Philippians 4:8

Yesterday I went MIA. Yes, gone. Missing in action on this site.

Like much of the nation, I've been consumed with the unfolding tragedy in Massachusetts. I've been grieving with the bombing victims and their families, cheering on the authorities in their search for the suspects, and praying for safety for all involved.

I awakened yesterday morning with a deep sense of sadness and fatigue. I decided to scale back my usual duties and take a break from the news. My husband and I took an afternoon drive and went shopping.  He helped me buy some curtains for the living room and put them up in the evening.

We picked up some fast food and enjoyed a quiet dinner with the family. At ten p.m. I was ironing curtains and thinking about what a wonderfully patient husband I have.

Now, I'm not exactly recommending shopping as a cure for the blues. I'm only suggesting it.

What I am encouraging is a healthy balance between work and play. Between grief and celebration. It's not healthy to turn away from injustice and the suffering of others. Neither is dwelling there.

We have become a society sickened by the macabre. Death is the new frontier, and we are fascinated with its exploration. We fixate on the what revolts us, while a world of beauty and life blooms around us largely unnoticed.

Jesus came to deliver us from the bondage of death.Then He sent us back into it to pull others out of the wreckage. We give our hearts to a hurting world, but we keep our minds closely guarded against its influence.

I'm back today, more refreshed and grateful for the many beautiful ways God reveals Himself to me.

Are you ever caught up in the sadness around you? How do you keep your mind focused on those qualities described in Philippians 4:8? What are some specific ways to "dwell on these things"?

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