Sunday, March 23, 2014

Great Movie and MORE THOUGHTS

Saw "God is Not Dead" Friday night. Fantastic! I encourage everyone to see this film whether you're a Christian or not. It will open your mind to how God uses every moment, decision, and opportunity in your life. It isn't about religion. It is about faith, God and your right to defend what you believe.

Here's the website:

Review: ”There are a lot of stories in GOD’S NOT DEAD, but they work because they end up in the same place. The direction and acting are very good. The ending is terrific. GOD’S NOT DEAD is a powerful evangelistic movie. Even better, the entertainment value transcends the message. Viewers won’t be bored. They will be enlightened and inspired by GOD’S NOT DEAD.” - See more at:

As the movie closed and the credits ran across the screen, the lights came up and I watched people start leaving, I realized this theater was filled mostly with people who claimed to be Christians. I can't see someone's heart, but am pretty sure of this fact. At that moment in time, I wondered why people were willing to go out and support a movie, go to church every week, and yet will ignore someone suffering on the street, abandoned by the very people they need the most. I wondered how many people were in my shoes: alone, no family, confined to home most of the time and rarely saw people when they are sick. If the amount of people that filled the theater would reach out to one person hurting or in physical need, now that would make a difference.

It seems that I'm more sensitive to suffering. I guess it is because I've been in so many "suffering" situations: losing my family to death, burying each one, suffering with illnesses that continue to destroy my body and to some extent my mind. It makes an impact on me when I see so many people look through those who are a lone, lonely and hurting as if they aren't there. I've been in those shoes so many times. It tears your soul apart.

When I moved back to Wilmore, I noticed a very thin man walking past my door every day. Turns out he walked all over town every day. Just to look at him made me wary only because I had come from a town where you had to look over your shoulder to keep safe.

As time passed, I learned this man's name was Glen and he had Lou Gehrig's disease. Glen was dying, but he kept going every day. Soon Glen became an inspiration to me to never give up no matter what. If he could walk all over Wilmore every day, surely I could make it out my door and walk a block.

Glen was homeless, but was given an opportunity to live at someone's house in Wilmore. I learned this lady had opened her door to help those in dire need. He was blessed to have a place to rest his head at night.

Glen would sit on the bench in front of the IGA to rest. Many people learned his name, talked to him and some bought him lunch. It was an opportunity to put action behind words of faith. All of this encouraged me and reminded me God still uses people to make a difference in the lives around them.

As the disease progressed with Glen, he became unable to swallow or speak clearly enough to understand his speech. He had the appearance of someone homeless in that he rarely wore clean clothes or bathed. I'm sure the suffering he did was too much and he did what he could. Then word spread my way that the local barber did not want him sitting or standing in front of his business because he ran customers away. So the businesses asked Glen not to sit in front of their establishment. How that must have broken his heart! It broke mine. They knew Glen was dying and instead of using the opportunity to help him, they rejected him for financial gain. It hurt me because Wilmore had always been a kind, loving, helping community, not a judgemental selfish place.

We will all answer for our actions, words and lack of actions one day. I'm sure whoever made decisions to turn away a dying man will have more to answer for when they pass away.

Glen died last November from Lou Gehrig's disease. He was given a funeral in a local church and buried in the Wilmore graveyard. Yet I cannot forget how people treated him the last days of his life. The man who encouraged me by just walking past my door had been condemned by a Christian community.

Somewhere down the line, they may be in Glen's shoes one day. We don't know what tomorrow holds, but I do believe God's words: "You reap what you sow."

I am always amazed at how people are so fast to label people who have a disability, illness, etc., and reject them. I, too, have been labeled so hard that I can barely recognize myself anymore because of all the labels people have attached to me. It is then I am reminded I cannot do anything about someone who gossips, spreads lies, or passes judgement on me. I can only change the way I accept it. Then I have to remind myself I'm a child of God and no matter how many people tear me down, try to destroy my humanity, or set out to hurt me. It is then I peel off the labels that have accumulated and toss them in the trash. I see the light underneath and the hope that is still there. I thank God for pulling me up once again and rest in His arms.

I could just pass it all off as people are judgemental, unreliable, and really don't care, but there are so many who are not any of those things. They are the ones who make a difference.

"You are what you do, not what you say."

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