Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Ultimate Joyous Meditation

Today marks the beginning of the most joyous 50 days in the Christian calendar, the Easter Season. We are to begin the festivities as the 40 day Lenten journey has come to a close. This Easter Triduum had me reflecting on all the events that led to the crowning victory of Jesus conquering sin and death, Satan's contribution, through Jesus resurrection. I reflected on my Lenten journey. I thought of Jesus prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” He repeated the same prayer in slightly different words 3 times. Despite the victory and joy He knew would come, the horror on so many levels he was about to face caused him to ask to want to skip this moment, and yet He acquiesced to God's will.

So what does this account of Jesus all giving love and triumphant glory have to do with us personally? Ok, its true He called us friends and we are created in the image of God. But what does that mean? Perhaps it means that we too ultimately have the same cries and can look forward to the same triumphs.

As I mentioned in last weeks blog, this has been a mysterious interruption for me. As I began the restorative justice ministry, I could not have foreseen that the other aspect of it, the healing and restitution of the victim would unexpectedly became very personal for me. Nor could I have foreseen that it would take front and center stage. Certainly, I had not planned it nor wanted to take it on to this extent. However, God has his own plans and design.

So why am I in Miami so abruptly? I have detail some background as I weave in the answer. My adoptive father's death in Miami almost 4 years ago was marred by tragedies too horrific to believe. His death was hidden, and due to a lag in communication I was only informed of it a year and a half ago. I was his only daughter and the shear shock and emotion caused me do all I could to uncover the how and why and rectify it as best I could. I could not believe given the past history of my adoptive father and I, that I would end up being his only advocate.

In late February of this year, as the criminal case slowly progressed, the civil case came to a screeching halt when my legal counsel abandoned the case. For weeks, I tried to secure alternate counsel by phone from California but to no avail. I finally hit my own wall and recognized I would either have to step it up or let it go. That first weekend in April came, and I was exhausted. So I turned I turned in prayer and asked if you want be to give up this civil battle I will.

The next week a lawyer called a second time to hear of my case. One thing led to another and she said to come right away as the statutes were expiring and her firm had decided to take the case on a limited basis. Prior to her communication, I had already weighed the decision to drop everything and go to Miami but I wanted to delay this til the end of May. This decision had me feeling unrest. The attorney's urgent request caused me to do a 180. After this decision, I woke up feeling peace the following morning.

Although, God had revealed to me that He wanted me in Miami, I knew the catalyst of what brought me out here, namely the attorney's request, was not going to be the end of why I was being brought out here. And so it was.

This past week was my Garden of Gethsemane. I foresaw that the attorney which brought me out to Miami, would abandon the case. Monday she officially did. So here I was having to scramble at the eleventh hour for substitute counsel, postponing the gathering of evidence and postponing assisting the overtaxed law enforcement and legal system. In my scrambling, I met with more attorneys whose fear, pragmatism and laziness would mirror both prior attorney's motivation, in differing aspects, in abandoning me and the case.

On Wednesday, in the midst of turmoil and exhaustion, in the midst of holy week, I still knew I was brought out here for a reason. The signs still kept pointing me to pursuing justice and restitution. Yet the cost on so many levels was great, and the intense agony led me to thoughts of what lay ahead. Too, I again questioned my own steps and motivations as my own outrage fueled me as I kept discovering all the events and participants that led to my own personal tragedy.

Yet the only peaceful answer I have found is in surrendering to God's will. So I cried first in tears and then in prayer, I pleaded again as I had while I was still in California, "I am ready to let this go and yet if it is still your will, please show me and your will be done".

The answer came in a whisper and then loud and clear the next day. Even though I had not planned to do this, doors opened that had been shut and I gathered more information with greater ease than at any other time prior. Aside from finally finding an alternate attorney, I recognized that he was the one I should choose. And, more importantly, I spoke with an attorney who had direct experience with the people who had stolen not only my adoptive father's assets and possibly his life but his dignity. This particular attorney had sued them prior representing other people who had not been paid for services rendered. The personal now had become more global.

Our heavenly Father's unconditional love manifests itself in a myriad of ways. When some of us are enslaved in passions such as greed and we get away with breaking the law in pursuit of those passions, we are rewarded to continue. This can not lead to a good end for anyone and least of all to those enslaved with this behavior. God's love, mercy and justice give all of us a chance to embrace redemption. However, that process has to start somewhere and oftentimes it starts with loving justice, the timeout to experience conversion and redemption. Of course there are no guarantees that this will happen but at least the opportunities are granted. And just as it takes a village to raise child, it takes a village to help someone commit crime and, also, to allow them to keep committing them.

I find it amazing as we enter the joy of the Easter Season how God can turn something as ugly as what Christ endured into something beautiful and redemptive. May we meditate on the meaning of justice, sacrifice, love and the ultimate joy and glory of the resurrection this Easter.

And in a personal way let us reflect on how the ugly in our own lives, can be transformed into something beautiful and redemptive as well, if we but follow God's will. This may be one of our ultimate joyous meditations.


Pursued by Truth said...
April 25, 2011 at 9:09 AM  

Beautiful Ang, you are in my prayers.

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