At the beginning of this writing challenge, I mentioned I would list 31 things that have had an impact on my life, and why. Today, this one is tough for me.
I have mentioned many times before that I am a lover of books. A good book is a great escape. But what happens when you read a good book about trying to escape?
I ran across the book A Thousand Lives by Julia Scheeres one afternoon while visiting my local library. I read the tag line was an account of the Jonestown massacre. Typically, I do not read books like this…but morbid curiosity got the best of me. I remember growing up hearing different things about “cults” and mass suicides. I knew the name Jim Jones. I had borrowed well- known phrase “drinking the kool-aid” many times before in jesting situations. Now, I just can’t bring myself to say it…. not anymore.
I checked the book out and started reading. At first it was really hard to discard my preconceived notions…soon they were obviated.
I won’t turn this into a book review. You can click on the link and read all different kinds of them on Amazon.com if you want to.
But I will tell you this… my heart broke, no, shattered after I turned the last page. I sobbed as I was reading it. I prayed harder than I ever had before.
I wondered. How…HOW does one man get to the point in their lives when they become so sold out to their own ideologies… And even more, how are they able to influence so many to follow. (All the while setting the mental tone that this is the will of God.)
What happened in their lives that they so desperately needed acceptance that they fell prey to this? My heart still breaks for this very thing. The stories, accounts and pictures will never leave my mind. Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe this book will serve as a bruise on my heart…to remember how desperately people really need a Savior. (An honest relationship with their very creator.)
Maybe finding this book was no accident. Maybe I needed to see just how desperate and hurting this world really is. Yes… I am sure of it.
Mass suicides and cult followings happen every day. They didn’t start or stop with Jim Jones. I vividly remember watching the attack on David Karesh in Waco, Tx. (And these are just the ones the media talks about… )
I don’t have the solution to this…but I have a broken heart towards it.
You know how this book has broken my heart. I am so sorry that so many have fallen into the hands of impostors. I can’t change what happened, but I am asking that you would help me to reach further, and love greater to those who are hurting and broken in this world. Help them to see and know the real you. Cause true healing and relationship to happen. Protect us from those who would try to hurt us. Help us to be a bright light in a very dark world.
In Jesus name,
Until next time,
See ya on the Random Side,