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Viewpoint from Helen Farman 13/05/2016 

Dove rightas published in the Yarmouth Mercury
Helen Farman
Light of Life Baptist Church, Ormesby

How do you feel when you lose something? Irritated?  Annoyed? Frustrated? Anxious? Fearful?  Doubtless, it depends on what it is you have lost. My daughter-in-law regularly loses keys, her mobile, remote controls, etc because her son, George, chooses to ‘hide’ them! The washing machine is always a good starting place when looking for them!
But there is a ‘losing’ which goes far deeper than loss of things. The words ‘I’ve lost the war’ were blazoned across a charity letter I read recently. They cried out a message of isolation and battles being fought. They had originally been written on a piece of paper and given to a Christian speaker while he was addressing an audience at a high school in Colorado, following the death of a student. The speaker knew, at that moment, that he was holding a suicide note. He sensed the gravity of the situation, stopped mid-sentence, said a quick arrow prayer and made an appeal. “I don’t know who sent this note; I don’t know who you are or what you are facing, but you haven’t lost the war because you are still here. There is still a battle to be fought. Let us help you. Come and find us. More to the point, let God help you. He promises to fight for you. Give him a chance.” He waited
dove leftThis young person, later discovered to be a sixteen year old girl, felt she had nowhere to go, no fight left, no-one to turn to, no hope
As I read this story, it brought to mind a very different story, but one still of ‘lostness’. It was, in fact, an advert for a book. The person in this story was a homeless prostitute, sick, unable to buy food, who ‘rented’ her daughter out to feed her drug habit. As the details of her life unfolded, the man listening did not know how to respond. Finally he asked her if she had ever thought of going to a church for help. He said he would never forget the look of shock on her face. “Church!” she cried. “Why would I go there? I was already feeling terrible about myself. They’d just make me feel worse.” What struck the man was that women like her fled towards Jesus, not away from him. The worse people felt about themselves the more likely they saw Jesus as a refuge. Has the church ‘lost’ that gift? This question has stuck with me for more than twenty years. I bought the book, ‘What’s so amazing about grace?’ by Philip Yancey and I read it. It changed my life
Amazingly, grace enters into the world of ‘isolation’, ‘lostness’ and ‘battles’, offering hope
What about the young girl who wrote the suicide note? She did not lose the war. What about the prostitute? I don’t know