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The Man Who Felt Empty

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Awhile ago I was watching an episode of Forensic Files. This particular episode documented a story of a man who was a serial arsonist/killer. As one would expect, my initial thought upon watching and listening to the story was how on earth could a human being do these things to other human beings. As I continued watching to the end, they interviewed this man from prison asking him what the motive was behind his heinous crimes. What he said struck me, not because I did not know or understand what he said, but with newfound truth which was revealed to me a short time before, my mind went to how these evil, heinous acts could have been prevented. His words struck me because, while absolutely never justifying his acts, I felt and understood his pain. He said, “I do not know why I did what I did. I cannot explain it, other than to say I felt empty. I felt empty inside.” Wow. I knew exactly what he was talking about.

There is a reason for everything. I find it surprising and disturbing how more often than not people cannot or do not trace their choices, character, morality, etc., to an identifiable root cause or causes. Towards the end of the segment on the serial arsonist, they reported on his past, detailing his childhood upbringing and family life. Slowly, this blurry picture of an evil man began to come into the clear view of a wounded boy. His parents, to be blunt, were downright weird. His father, while professing to be an avid Christian and minister, was extremely controlling, ruling the family with an iron fist. He was abusive and cold towards the boy, never showing much of a desire or interest to spend time, build a relationship with him. This was staggering to me! His mother protected and coddled him, seemingly from her abusive husband, but although this was understandable, it could not undo the damage done or fill the voids of pain and hurt left by his domineering and distant father. My heart ached in agony, imagining and wondering if one person, just one, seen, understood, and took steps to help him.

I fully understand all people will not be saved. In looking at the life of Jesus, who is the revelation of Truth, Love, (and more!) I find it amazing the different responses He received from different people. Some responded in faith, praise, and adoration, while some responded in offense, disdain, and hate. Fascinating! Therefore, we can surmise not everybody will respond positively to real, genuine Love. The reason being is because Love is also kin with Truth and Light, and we all know the Truth hurts and the Light reveals what we would rather keep hidden. You either run to or run from. However, we can also say whether people positively respond or not, everyone needs to be shown God/True Love. In this instance, I am not so sure the wounded boy who turned into a serial arsonist was shown Who he needed most. Who we all need most.

It is possible someone did try to help him and he rejected. Surely that happens. I do not truly know. What I do know is the desire to inflict pain and hurt on someone else because you felt “empty” is a direct reflection of the heart of a person who did not, could not receive Love. Hurt people hurt people. May we all consider and remember the Love of God, the blood of Jesus, and the presence of His person is the only Way to fill this emptiness inside – these holes in our souls. In Jesus name.

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Did You Pray Today?

We tend to forget how short life can be. Some of us get so busy and bogged down with the issues of life – work, bills, kids, appointments, etc., we often overlook what’s most important. A few years ago I was on a chase – a chase for fulfillment, accomplishment, money, success, and so on. I fell flat on my face trying to chase these things, and quite honestly, I am blessed to have survived my fall. The pursuit of these things aren’t necessarily wrong, but you can go about it the wrong way, as I did, sacrificing what you need for what you want. I got so caught up in the chase, the hustle, the grind, I lost track of my own self and the simple, yet profound things that make for a good life.

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My mother recently passed away and I’m coping with her death in my own way. I was blessed to talk to her a few days before she died, and as we often did we had a fun, yet serious conversation. During the conversation she asked me a question which is now seared on my conscience. “Did you pray today?” she asked, the question seemingly coming out of nowhere. “What?” I replied, unsure of what she said at first. “Did you talk to God today?” She asked more forcefully, making sure I heard her. “Yea Mom that’s an everyday thing for me,” I replied. “Ok, well that’s good. I’m going to need you to keep doing that,” she said. She would die a few days later, leaving me in remembrance and inspired by this simple act we all should do every day. My mother was strong. She fought and battled for a long time with different things. Sometimes she won and sometimes she lost, but she was always willing to fight and pray. I believe she talked to God a lot. She went through enough to do so.

I say again we tend to forget how short life can be. As a matter of fact the Bible says life is but a vapor. Think about when you’re cooking or boiling something and you see that vapor of smoke and then it’s gone. That’s your life here on earth. Don’t let your present situations and circumstances get you so busy you neglect the basics, and the BASIS of life itself. Being thankful for the air you breathe and being grateful for what you already have. Loving God and people. Cherishing and spending time with the ones you love. These are some of the basics. Treasure life, not only the treasures of life – what you can get out of it. We are supposed to make the most of our lives while we here, but that constitutes to more than just being busy and chasing things which will never fulfill you. I think that’s profound. So, in all your getting get understanding – know what life is and what it’s really about. Did you pray today?