I hear words of anger, disbelief, mistrust and misunderstanding. I want to say, "But if you only knew..." and explain how hard it was to watch men who could barely speak through their tears when they told staff and faculty, to see the broken hearts and hear the explanation of how the pain-staking decision was made. I want to tell people that this terminal diagnosis has been delayed because remarkable and loving people have been performing financial CPR on a situation that began to give out years ago... that telling churches in the area about the difficulty would not really have helped... not in the long run.
I feel hurt when I hear people say how angry they are... as if anyone had any other possible choice to make... I want to say that it would be like dumping money into trying to fix a car except the only parts you can find are the wrong parts. But you are determined to keep it running because it used to be your best friend's car and so you spend money... on the wrong parts. - It feels like they are angry at people like me, who have accepted this end, even though it is so sad. I am made to feel like some sort of traitor because I don't intend to jump on the "Save-Our-School" band wagon. - That is hurtful. And so I walk away... because I don't think they would hear me anyway.
"Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander,
along with every form of malice."
I feel ashamed when I hear brothers and sisters in Christ using defeatist and hateful words . How in the world can we pretend to know what it was like in that board room, sitting among a group of people who wanted to see Cascade survive... knowing that there was only one choice to make... but no one wanted to make it? How can you assume the people who made those decisions are cold and pious people?
"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs that it may benefit those who listen."
Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)
That Cascade is closing its doors is sad, this is certain. The ripple effect will be far reaching. Things will not be the same. - But to say that God's kingdom will be considerably and negatively affected by it is both faulty thinking and shameful. The Lord will not see His people lost in this.
"Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."
Hebrews 13: 7&8
"Everyone grieves differently," my friend says. She is right. And people are grieving. I understand this.
And so I make one request, to those who are grieving, who are peaceful, who are angry, who are hurt, who are searching for answers or making decisions about jobs and schools...
Please, please do not forget what we are and who we stand for.