Judith was a little girl who had lost her family in an accident. She went to live with her Uncle Charles. He had a nice house and was able to provide for all her material needs.
Uncle CHarles had been married years ago but Aunt Karen had left because she said that being there was too hard. Uncle Charles had never married again. He wasn't very interested in other people. His lifestyle was already set in such a tight pattern that he refused to change for any reason.
Judith was allowed to take with her those things she needed and some of the playthings she had. She had gotten a computer for Christmas the year before and took that along too.
Uncle Charles provided Judith with a room for all of her stuff. She was to keep it in there and not bring it into the rest of the house. It would look bad and be in the way. So that is what Judith did.
She arranged her room to look as much like the one she had had at home as she could. She asked if she could get internet access for the computer and was surprised by her Uncle's response.
"Why would you need that? It is a foolish waste of money." snapped her Uncle.
"If I earn the money would it be ok?" asked Judith.
Her Uncle waited for a moment and said, "Yes, but if you work you will be paying for all of your personal needs and entertainment. You don't seem to be grateful for what I am willing to provide." stated Uncle Charles.
Life changed a lot for Judith. She no longer got to go to the places she had visited often before. She ate was provided without comment. She did her work in a routine fashion. Nothing was the same any more.
One day while Judith was at school a friend asked her why she sits quietly by herself and doesn't play with the others any more.
"Well, I could play with them now but I wouldn't be able to take part in anything outside of school. I have my work and the stuff I need to do at Uncle Charles's house." replied Judith. "You don't do anything any more are you sure there just isn't something wrong with you?" asked her friend.
"No there isn't anything wrong with me. Life just has changed a lot for me." said Judith sadly.
After school that day Judith went to her room and looked at all the stuff she had there. Nothing seemed to mean the same thing anymore. She had not kept up on the stuff she collected because Uncle Charles said it was a waste of money. She had not continued taking part in activities at church because they were at the wrong time and Uncle Charles had something else to do.
Judith thought about the many things that the family had done in the past. Uncle Charles and her hadn't done any of them.
The phone rang and she rushed to answer it so it would not disturb anyone.
"Hello." said Judith. "Hi, Judith, you are just the one I wish to speak to," said Pastor Thomas.
"Oh! It is great to hear from you!" said Judith in a happy little voice.
"I talked to your Uncle Charles and he said it would be ok if you came to a picnic this Saturday" said Pastor Thomas.
"How will I get there?" asked Judith.
"I will come and get you at eleven in the morning," replied Pastor Thomas.
They said their goodbyes and Judith felt a little better. She would be doing something she had done before. She could hardly wait until Saturday.
The picnic was fun. Afterwards Pastor Thomas had a talk with Judith. That evening as she tried to go to sleep she thought about what the pastor had said, "Your life is dead but your body is living."
She knew he was right and for the first time someone was able to put into words the way she was feeling. Her body was doing all the things it needed to but her sould felt like it was dead. She had given up all her hopes and dreams. She had adjusted well to her new lifestyle. She even had made it through losing everything from her past.
Yes, she had the memories but the traditions were all gone. Uncle Charles didn't believe in any of them so they were not allowed to continue. She knew she had to do something but was not sure what.
Pastor Thomas had told her that she was special. She hadn't heard that since her parents last said it to her. It made her feel good, like she was a human being not just a robot.
After saying her prayers Judith fell asleep. The next morning she knew what she would do. Beginning that day she was going to make a life fore herself. She knew that Uncle Charles would not approve and that he would want no part of it but that was ok with her.
As time went by Judith created new traditions. They were things that no one could take away from her. She could not lose them unless she gave them up. She set goals for herself and worked on them. She decided that although she would not be allowed to go to church that she could read about God on the internet and talk to other people there about how she felt. That is what she did.
It is true that Judith will never meet the people she talks to online but they have helped her cope with life when there was nobody else around. See Uncle Charles lived in the same house as Judith but had very little to do with her. He wasn't someone that Judith could talk to.
God changes our lives in many ways. Sometimes there is nothing we can do to change the situation we are in as far as our physical surroundings go. We can always change how we view the world and interact with it. We can take back the control of our lives.
Yes, living in a house with someone who doesn't really care about you is hard. It is not impossible. Jesus dealt with a lot of people who didn't care about Him or even hated Him. He showed them unconditional love. That's what we need to do.
If we are busy focusing on God and all the wonderful things He does we will want to share the love He gives us with everyone else. They will not always give it back. Some will even hate us for our belief in God. But if we can put the possitive back in to a life that has been turned upside down we will be living life to its fullest. People then cannot say to us that we are "DEAD BUT LIVING".
If you feel like you exist but that there has to be more to life than you have now try to do what Judith did. You will see the world and life in general through a new window. Where there was darkness, there will be light.