Typically, we think of February as the month of hearts, flowers, and love. Valentines' Day, February 14, 2018, will be remembered with pain, loss, and broken hearts as our country mourns the tragic loss of children and teachers in a school massacre by a classmate!
Why have senseless evil killings become an all too frequent occurrence?
Florida businessman, Duncan Hudnall suggested on Facebook, "They [the killers] bought into a 'there-is-no-God' theory of life and consequently their sense of right and wrong became twisted . . . . there are a host of other factors that allow hearts to become full of hate and anger, but suffice it to say, until the condition of the heart comes in line with God's purposes for our lives, we will continue to fall further into the clutches of evil."
Another heartbreak is the number of young people committing suicide. Growing up, I never heard of a classmate committing suicide; but sadly, today, children become so overwhelmed with life, they feel they have no purpose and thus life is not worth living. Or they retreat from life into drugs, often overdosing.
What if the lost and confused had mentors pouring God's Truth, love, and purpose into their lives! Assuring and showing them, they're important and valued. Watching for signs of trouble sometimes overlooked by a family too close to see or acknowledge a problem.
As I was writing this note to you, the Lord impressed on me the word "brokenhearted," and then He led me to Isaiah 61:1-3, where He talks of comforting the brokenhearted. When I read the last line of this Scripture, I remembered Tracy Steel's letter she wrote to mentors, which I put in the Preface of Mentoring for All Seasons, written to mentors and mentees, from tweens to twilight years. Tracy compared mentors to "righteous oaks" from Isaiah 61:3. Here's the closing paragraph of her letter:
Older women, I'm writing this letter to you because young women need an oak. My prayer is you'll heed Psalm 78:1-8 and Titus 2:3-5. Don't allow fear, busyness, or inferiority to stop you from letting me . . . a younger woman . . . learn from you. Nourish us simply with your presence and prayers. You aren't here to warm a pew, precious oak, but to warm our hearts towards Jesus. The future of the church needs you. All my love, Tracy
I want to close with Isaiah 61:1-3 as a comfort and a prompt to action for us in these troubled times. Then I hope you will be inspired to find a "righteous oak" mentor or become a righteous oak and look for those God puts around you who need extra love, attention, comfort, guidance, help, support . . . God will give you the wisdom and the time.
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion-
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.