A few weeks ago, a group of friends and I were talking with one of the older women at our church. We listened in awe as she told the story of how she and her husband (who was with her) had been married for 34 years, divorced for 20, and re-married again for two months. As she relayed some of what happened, we couldn’t help but wonder how she made it through it all. As a result of what she’s been through, she’s been able to inspire women from our church and others. When I mentioned that she should write a book about everything she went through and how God brought her through it, she laughed and intimated that it would be a very short book. I asked her why. She said the only thing she could put in a book, would be this:
“Pray. Have Faith. Praise the LORD.”
Being a writer, her short, confident and simple reply struck me. The simplicity of it was astounding, but the truth of it was life-changing. And endless pages of flowery words and intellectual prose couldn’t have said it better or guaranteed a better outcome. Her brief answer covered everything from marriage issues to job loss. When hope is deferred, God loves us too much to let us handle it all on our own. All we have to do is give him the key.
Kara loves to read and write supernatural suspense thrillers and is an ACFW Genesis 2013 Finalist in the Mystery/Suspense/Thriller category. But Kara also loves to share stories about God’s love, mercy and faithfulness. One of Kara’s favorite non-fiction quotes comes from noted author Corrie Ten Boom, “It was at a church service in Munich that I saw him, a former S.S. man who had stood guard at the shower room door in the processing center at Ravensbruck. He was the first of our actual jailers that I had seen since that time. And suddenly it was all there – the roomful of mocking men, the heaps of clothing, Betsie’s pain-blanched face.
He came up to me as the church was emptying, beaming and bowing. “How grateful I am for your message, Fraulein.” He said. “To think that, as you say, He has washed my sins away!” His hand was thrust out to shake mine. And I, who had preached so often to the people in Bloemendaal the need to forgive, kept my hand at my side.
Even as the angry, vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them. Jesus Christ had died for this man; was I going to ask for more? Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive him. I tried to smile, I struggled to raise my hand. I could not. I felt nothing, not the slightest spark of warmth or charity. And so again I breathed a silent prayer. Jesus, I prayed, I cannot forgive him. Give me Your forgiveness.
As I took his hand the most incredible thing happened. From my shoulder along my arm and through my hand a current seemed to pass from me to him, while into my heart sprang a love for this stranger that almost overwhelmed me. And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world’s healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself.”