Friday, May 21, 2004


A jeweler was shot in the head once, the back twice, in NYC's diamond district yesterday. He'd been indicted on drug laundering charges, molding drug lords' gold into screws and belt buckles. I was in the diamond district in November. I saw many Hassidic Jews. Even a group gathered for afternoon prayers. And many other people as well. I saw big fat diamonds like I've never seen before. I mean, absolute giants! My sister and I salivated a river right down the sidewalk. But did I see that guy? Perhaps he was the guy that told me I could try on one of those honkers? Like a dummy, I refused. Was it him?

So here's a little tidbit about faith -- we display it all the time, whether we're a Christian or not. I, and thousands of other people, some of them stupid, unsuspecting tourists like myself--most probably regulars down there who fully realize the extent of unsavoriness, have walked around the diamond district. We all walk about in faith everyday. Nobody's going to come up and mug me. Today won't be the day a car plows into me because if it was, well, I'd just stay home, right? This egg I'm frying isn't full of creepy crawly bacteria. My kids' teachers aren't psychologically abusing them. The sun will rise. The delicate balance of the universe will remain as it was yesterday.

The diamond district only contains nice people.

Aaack! I was around money launderers and I didn't know it. Thank You, GOD, for looking out for me.

So there you go. Faith is exhibited inside us and all around us every day, whether we think so or not. I believe a lot of us are just blessed enough to recognize that Someone's looking out for us: on the road, in school, in the refrigerator, at home, at work, in the diamond district.




Blogger Deborah said...

What do you do, though, when you hear a story like this. The other day, I listened to a deeply faithful Lutheran pastor talk about his five children and how he and his wife passed the faith along to them through daily Bible reading and family devotionals at home. Then, he told us that the youngest son, who liked to pray the most, who would get on praying jags so his brothers would punctuate his long winded prayers for "Hong Konk" with "Amen!" to try to get him to stop, this youngest son got struck by lightening and died.

Then, years ago, I met another deeply faithful man, who had a schizophrenic son who shot and killed their other son.

These terrible tragedies did nothing to dislodge their faith, only, it seemed, deepened it and made these men more compassionate towards those struggling.

Innocent people do suffer. Sometimes the protection that we count on is lifted through no fault of our own.

We're not promised that we'll be spared fiery trials, only that He'll be with us when we pass through them.

I know that, when I look back, I see that I've led a charmed life when I consider the chances I took, the dangers that didn't befall me, when others have paid with their lives for less careless acts than mine.

I don't understand many of the reasons, only assert these three things: God is all-good. He is all-powerful. He is sovereign. He can be trusted. But there are no guarantees that just because we're Christian we won't suffer. He does have a plan that has eternity in mind.

And it doesn't mean that if we suffer we're on God's bad side, or there's some secret sin that's brought this calamity on us.


May 21, 2004 at 10:50 AM  
Blogger lisa said...

You're so right, Debbie. We live in a fallen creation. And again, it comes down to faith that God knows what He's doing. I haven't lost a child and I can't imagine what that must feel like, so whoever gets through such and retains their faith, let alone their sanity, are heroes in my eyes.

I'm really yearning for that day St. Paul speaks of when Christ will reconcile all things, *all* things, to Himself.

May 21, 2004 at 11:23 AM  
Blogger lisa said...

Oh my, I'm such a dunderhead. Did I say "gets through" the death of a child. I in no way meant to imply that's something anyone ever truly "gets through."

May 21, 2004 at 11:24 AM  
Blogger Jules Quincy Stephens said...

Hi Deb, Lisa:

My family has been through a rough time, and one of our deacons automatically assumed that we were entrenched in sin. I honestly couldn't believe this mentality still exists -- has anyone heard of Job? How about Paul? And oh yeah, that savior dude Jesus? He suffered, too.

I'm not at all saying that my husband and I lead blameless lives. We don't. But people hold onto the belief that life is fair (it's not) and that good people skate (they don't) and evil people have horrible lives (they may not). Judgment and our eternal rewards sit on the other side of eternity.

May 22, 2004 at 1:08 AM  

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