A re-post -- from February 2011
Today while I was driving from one appointment to another, I heard a
radio interview that has really stayed with me. It featured a lady
named Rebecca Alonzo, and she was telling the story of her childhood
that is detailed in her new book, The Devil in Pew Number Seven.
Her father was the pastor of a small church in North Carolina when she
was a young child, and the thorn in his side was one of the men who
attended his church, Mr. Watts. Mr. Watts had ruled the church and the
town with an iron fist until the new pastor came to town, and began a
campaign to get rid of him from the very beginning. When this didn't
immediately happen, Mr. Watts began to stalk and harrass the family, to
the point of bombing their house several times.
One day, Mr. Watts encouraged a neighbor to attack the pastor and his
family, and on Easter Sunday, the neighbor walked in to the family
dinner and shot Rebecca's parents. She was 7 years old. Her mother
died immediately, and her father suffered injuries that ultimately led
to his death a few years later. Rebecca went on to tell what happened
after that, with her and her brother going to live with her aunt, the
subsequent trial with minimal punishment, and her intense confusion and
anger with God. It was a devastating story. But then she made this
statement, "I got to the point where I realized I needed God MORE than I
needed to be mad at God". Wow. I know many adults that never come to
this realization, and their life circumstances aren't nearly as tragic.
She was a teenager at the time, and has written this book in part to
help others who find themselves in the same cycle of fear, anger, and
confusion. Yes--bad things happen, even tragic things. Believers
aren't immune to that. At all. And sometimes, just realizing that
these things matter to God can make all the difference. No, they might
not change the circumstances, but they can change the outlook.
It's OK to be angry about circumstances, and I think it is even OK to be
angry at God. He understands and can handle it. But how tragic it is
when a person stays in that place, and remains distant from God because
"I got to the point where I realized I needed God MORE than I needed to be mad at God".
You can read more of Rebecca's story at http://www.thedevilinpewnumberseven.com/