About Me

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My passion is helping others defend themselves and their families. I am an NRA Certified pistol instructor, a NRA Chief Range Safety Officer, leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - North Cincinnati, and the state leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - Ohio. I also have a heart for the Lakota people and lead mission teams to the Pine Ridge Reservation each year, am founder and director of Backpacks For Pine Ridge,, and do various volunteer work in my own community. My greatest joy is being a grandma and hanging out with my husband of 30+ years.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Walk On

I was thinking about the story my son wrote ... about the event that it is based on... and that got me to thinking about the church....

As much as I complain and criticize the church, I am constantly amazed by the extraoridinary examples of faith I see lived out before me in the church. Sometimes on a Sunday evening I like to slip into the back just after the service has started and hide in the back pew. I like to sit there and just look .... look at all the people in the pews in front of me, and remember....

All around me I see people like "Bonnie" (in the story below) who endured something I cannot begin to fathom. How do people deal with accidently running over and killing a best friend? I'm sure I'd go insane if I were in her shoes. It was hard to be sure. For a while we were all very concerned about "Bonnie". But I watched as she courageouly walked back into church and took her place in the pews. I remember the surge in my own faith as I watched this amazing woman do what I was sure I could not have, and I thought, maybe, just maybe, if I ever had to go through something like that, I might make it. She did more for my faith in that single act than many sermons have done.

I see people who have lost everything they've worked for their whole lives, homes that they built with their own hands, homes that had every memory of their children's growing up tucked away into each corner. And I've helped them pack up the memories and move on not knowing where they would go or what they would do next. But they moved on, their faith unshaken. They still occupy the same pew each Sunday.

I see people who have walked back into the church and took their place just a day after losing a child and I've wondered where their strength comes from. I don't think I could do it.

I've wondered at people who walk in and take a seat and fight tears as they struggle with the lonliness and self doubt that a divorce brings.

I see a woman who left her country, her family, her life as she knew it to move here and start a new family. I see the children her parents have never seen, and I've seen her pain as she struggles with a new life in a strange country. Yet I also see the joy that only Jesus can bring .... shining all over her face every time she walks through the door.

Around me I see folks who have been badly hurt by another church and yet they have the courage and faith to come and try again, not knowing if they're experience here will be any different.

I wonder at these people. I'm pretty sure if I had to go through some of the things they have, I'd be at home, not at church. I'd be in a dark room somewhere railing at God, not sitting in a pew worshiping Him.

I'm not saying that these folks are perfect. Trust me, they are not. We have a church full of screwed up people. Sometimes they drive me crazy. But their faith astounds me. Their ability to pick up the pieces, give them to God, and trust that things will eventually be okay even though they have no indication that things will ever be okay agian, humbles me. And it encourages me. I see that bad things can and do happen to people but they do survive, mind, body, and spirit intact. And I think, these are the most amazing people in the world, and if for no other reason, if I ever had any doubts about God and his faithfulness, their lives would be reason enough for me to believe.

I'm reminded of a song by U2, you know that Irish rock band who somehow manages to capture the essence of faith in their lyrics...

Walk On

And love is not the easy thing
The only baggage that you can bring
Love is not the easy thing
The only baggage you can bring Is all that you can't leave behind...
And if the darkness is to keep us apart
And if the daylight feels like it's a long way off
And if your glass heart should crack And for a second you turn back
Oh no, be strong
Oh, oh Walk on,
walk on

What you got, they can't steal it
No, they can't even feel it
Walk on, walk on
Stay safe tonight

You're packing a suitcase for a place none of us has been
A place that has to be believed, to be seen
You could have flown away A singing bird in an open cage
Who will only fly, only fly, for freedom
Oh, oh Walk on, walk on

What you got, they can't deny it
Can't sell it, or buy it
Walk on, walk on
You stay safe tonight

And I know it aches And your heart, it breaks
You can only take so much
Walk on...
Walk on...

Home... Hard to know what it is, if you never had one
Home... I can't say where it is, but I know I'm going
That's where the hurt is...

And I know it aches And your heart, it breaks
And you can only take so much
Walk on...

Leave it behind
You got to leave it behind

All that you fashion
All that you make
All that you build
All that you break
All that you measure
All that you feel

All this you can leave behind

All that you reason
All that you sense
All that you scheme
All you dress-up
All that you've seen
All you create
All that you wreck
All that you hate

Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ's love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture ....

None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I'm absolutely convinced that nothing - nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable - absolutly nothing can get between us and God's love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. - Romans 8


Bar Bar A said...

I am so glad you stopped by my blog because yours is GREAT! I can't wait to come back when I have more time to check it out. I get to see U2 for the first time on Nov. 1, can hardly wait.

God bless!

David Cho said...

A very nice reflective piece. A far cry from my dorky experience in the pew.

Amber said...

Hey Layla, You get to see U2! Wow, I'm so jealous! :)

David - I read your story. Amazing how we can get into some ackward situations at church. :) I've done some dorky things too - like when I was in Romania and climbed into the cab of a truck and scooted all the way over beside the driver because I *thought* a third person was getting in too. The third person did not get in, so that I sat next to a very nervous driver who thought I was more interested in him than I was.

David Cho said...

LOL! That is hillarious. Was the driver really nervous or happy?

Amber said...

He was nervous. He was married and wasted NO time telling me so. One of my more embarrassing moments.