A few years ago, my son and I were home watching a movie. It was a science fiction thriller called, "Signs". It starred Mel Gibson and revolved around the idea of Alien invasion. Every time I watch this film it is profoundly moving for me, but this time in particular I was moved to tears.
In a particular scene, two brothers are talking about the two different kinds of people there are in the world. Are they the kind of people that feel life is a random collection of of happenings or does life really have meaning and purpose. Does synchronicity exist? Does the higher power really care what is going on on this planet and the lives of those who inhabit it? Do you believe in miracles?
As I sat watching this scene, I dabbed my eyes with a tissue and my son looked compassionately over at me. Usually when I cry at movies, my family will tease me over it, but not this time. Earlier that week, I'd been laid off from my lay-ministry position due to a budget deficit. I was feeling a loss of purpose after two years of trying to make things work. At that moment I did not know what my future vocation would be, and after fourteen years of working in ministry - I felt a little lost.
Nigel must have sensed that as I sat beside him watching that movie. He looked at me and said, "Mom, just because you don't work at a church doesn't mean that you can't be used by God."
Nigel was a person and a catalyst for me to repent from thinking God did not care what was happening to me. God did have a purpose and did work all things out for good - but I needed to be reminded of that fact in that particular moment of my life.
Repentance is necessary to move outside the shadow of doubt that works into our lives. Sometimes hope, by way of compassion, has to shift us back to center in order to renew our faith in, well- our faith, God and his love for us.