April Rose

Over the weekend I read the post on Bring the Rain about the recent discoveries regarding the littleaprilrose blog. I've been thinking about it off and on ever since, probably because tonight is the first baby shower I'm hosting at EGM.

When I consider the fact that every one of us is a "hurting people," it is easy to get discouraged or worse - angry at those who take advantage or appear to be taking advantage of the good in people. Whatever circumstances start people down a road of lies and deception, we have all been there. Perhaps our road was shorter and smaller and less public but we have all been there.

My prayer, since reading the post, has been for a few things. First and foremost my prayers go to the woman who perpetuated the story - Beccah. I wonder - how many cruel people are going to say things to or about her, hell-bent on tearing her down? How many won't extend compassion or grace? My prayer is they are drowned out by the voices of those who do.

Then, I pray for those who were involved by recommending her, promoting her to others, those who stood by her from the beginning. I pray they find their place in how to stand by her now as she deals with all of the consequences of her lie. I also pray they don't shy away from helping the next Beccah who comes along because they are afraid she may be a fake.

C.S. Lewis once said "It will not bother me in the hour of death to reflect that I have been "had for a sucker"by any number of imposters; but it would be a torment to know that one had refused even one person in need."

How profound (which seems an oxymoron to say - it is C.S. Lewis, after all) and so incredibly true. What difference will it make as I leave this world behind and step into the next one what people did to hurt me? I do not answer for what they do but how I respond to it. If people ask for my help, I should help and if it turns out someone makes a fool out of me, I should respond with the love of Christ - forgive and pray. Upon rising from the dead, did Jesus make His way back to the Pharisees to say "ha ha...told you I would, told you who I am. Are you sorry now, fools?"

There is always the argument that it takes from people who are genuinely in need and that is true. Or is it? Doesn't God promise to take care of our every need? Are we not more important to Him than the sparrows He so lovingly cares for? So - when I think those who con me take from those who are truly in need, do I not close the door on the idea of God doing something simply miraculous in that regard?

Then there is the discussion of being a good steward. There is never a time when I am not to help the poor, the widow and the fatherless. Never. If someone tricks me into believing they are something they are not, it goes back to - that is on them - not me.

The Bible also states (2 Thessalonians 3) that a person who does not work, does not eat. I'm not super-theological but reading that it (1) looks like it is talking about fellow believers and (2) does not state how/when that person works. If I see someone standing on a street corner holding a sign, do I know for an absolute certainty they do not get done with their day holding the sign, head back to the shelter and work there - in the kitchen, sweeping floors, doing laundry, etc.?

Back to Beccah and April Rose - ultimately, I often make assumptions about other people based upon my own personal experience. I may never know or understand what sent this young woman and her story spiraling out of control. I may never completely understand the pit-of-despair grief, the confused mental difficulties, the hunger for attention or the simple jealously of what others have or any one of 100 other motives that created that blog - I may never even know the reason or reasons, let alone understand them.

Instead - what I know: Forgive seven times seventy times, love your neighbor as yourself and show mercy and compassion to one another. (Matthew 18:21-23, Luke 10:27, Zechariah 7:9) Whatever happened, however it happened - the article I read shows she seems to be expressing remorse for it all. That is all it would seem God tells me I need to know - the rest is up to Him. My job is to forgive her, love her and pray for her. That's it. That's all. No judgment, no condemnation, no recrimination. Love. End of story.

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