Your blogs have done it…are doing it. Your pictures too. They are breaking up the hard ground inside of us. Reshaping the way I see the world…the way we all see it. Showing us pain. Displaying vulnerability. Painted pictures of love and of life. Life that is inexplicably hard and the compassion which softens it. Tills the rocky ground. Joins us together as the humans that we are. I wonder if you knew, when you sang the words “break my heart with what breaks yours” with a sincere heart, that you were praying. I wonder if you realized that you were giving God permission to show you his pain. When you sang “you call me out upon the waters, the great unknown, where feet may fail” were you aware that it would be actual waves that would show you your failing feet? Did you know that he would take you to a place to learn the all the questions which cannot be answered? A place where you would experience what it means for your faith to stand, because your body is too weary and your mind too confused? If you had known would you have still gone?
Did you know that God’s heart was THIS broken?
You are his image bearers. He feels…deeply. And so, you feel deeply. His heart is crushed by the suffering. You cannot breathe for the weight of it upon you. He cries tears. Yours run down your face. He grieves for his creation. You mourn for all that you see. It is a very, very hard place you are in.
It is the place of why. Why is this happening? Why won’t He stop it? Why am I here? Why? Why? Then why leads to How? How can this go on? And then What. What am I doing that will change anything? -and so on and so on. The questions roll around unanswered. They are the ones that keep us awake at night when we find ourselves in traumatic and difficult situations. They are a staple of hardship, and a building block of faith. The foundation really. Where the status quo is challenged and the constructs that hold our beliefs in place come crumbling down. It is only after the breaking that they can be rebuilt. It is a humbling place is it not? A place where we recognize all that we do not know. A place of holding on despite what we cannot see or do not understand. A place of trusting without seeing. It is blindness. It is brokenness. It is faith.
I wonder sometimes if, since we are created in his image, he asks questions too. Does he say why? Why is this happening? Why won’t they stop it? Why am I even here? When they will not listen. When they will not choose me. How can they choose to harm each other over and over again? How did I go wrong? It is an odd thought I know. To think that God asks questions of us. To think that he might not know the answers either. I wonder if we are perplexing to him, we humans. One thing I do know and that is that he wants us to SEE. To see his heart, for us, for them…for the refugees…for the world.
We are all sojourners and strangers. We are all refugees. We wander. We do not belong or fit. Until he finds us and until we fall into his arms…we run. We desperately run away. Fear chases us until we are exhausted in our fleeing. We know not where we are running to, only that we must keep moving. Never stopping, lest fear catch up with us. It is only when we get still, and we are quiet enough to hear his calling to us that we begin to feel belonging. The beautiful thing is that sometimes our weary bodies are so exhausted that our spirits can suddenly hear. It can be in the midst of chaos that his still, quiet voice breaks through. It is then that he rescues us…from ourselves…as was his plan all along.
You are watching this play out in the most heart-rending way. You have extended your hands and your feet to be his love. You have opened yourselves up to be his still and quiet voice in the midst of turmoil. You have exhausted yourselves to help the exhausted ones. Funny how that works, isn’t it? You have become a drop in the ocean…and that may not sound like much…and you may wonder if it matters at all, but in His ocean every drop of love costs. And every drop of love counts. No matter that it is sweat, or tears…every drop matters. What you are doing matters. It is a God sized issue, this crisis…and in human efforts and through human eyes it is an impossible one. But his ways are not our ways. He can use even this to bring his love into the world. He can use even you. Is using you.
Are you aware that the brokenness in the world of the refugees is only a FRACTION of his pain? Think of all the trafficking, and slavery, and orphans, and…and…and. He FEELS it all. Did you know that when you agreed to go on the World Race you signed up for a tour of his heart? The world’s brokenness is something he cannot escape or ignore…he loves too much for that. But I imagine he longs for the day when he will set things right and wipe away every tear. Until that time, I know he is glad to have you to walk with him so he can share his pain. It is always such a relief to share the depth of our hearts, isn’t it? I am sure his load is lightened because you are walking with him through his heartache…and because you love while doing it. Pouring yourselves out to love the world…like he does.
Hold on tight to his hand. Watch for his face. You will see his reflection in the mirror…look in your eyes. And then you will see his pain staring back at you through the eyes of everyone you serve. My prayer is for you to have strength so that you will not grow weary. Stamina. Wisdom. Compassion. Divine appointments. Peace. Words. Mercy. Grace. All of these things…are my prayers for you. Most of all, that as he continues to break your hearts with what breaks his…that you will endure and press in to all that he has for you in that place…walking with him.