I felt the weight on my chest as I hit the snooze button again. A week into this forty day commitment and the stories that beg to be shared are overwhelming.
It’s hard to know what to tell you today.
I asked God to show me as I eased out of bed, graced by the glow of a golden sunrise that was a stark contrast to my burdened heart.
“What do you want me to write?” I asked, my mind reeling with all that has crossed my screen and resounded through the airwaves in the past forty-eight hours.
Do I write about the tornado that tore fifty-mile path of terror and destruction through Tennessee? About the people who stand before a pile of toothpicks that was once their safe place? About the grief of those who are now planning funerals amidst the rubble?
Do I write about my original intent this month–the horrible epidemic of Sex Trafficking here in the United States? About the children strapped to beds in seedy motels? About the runaway who thought he loved her but, instead, is forced by her boyfriend (now pimp) to sell her body up to 40 times a day? About the kids who didn’t eat yesterday because school was cancelled and there is no food at home? About how hunger and poverty set them up for abuse and high-risk behaviors, including being trafficked?
Last night I had a moment in the middle of a local Wal-Mart that illustrates well the conflict I feel, the contrast between ache and hope, need and provision. In one aisle was a man with his little girl on his shoulders. He was on his phone, begging the voice on the other end for help:
“My house is gone, I just need help to get a hotel room for the night.”
Then in the checkout line stood a lady who, like me, was purchasing items to donate to the relief efforts. Laden with diapers, cleaning supplies, and gift cards we smiled at one another as we recognized the commonality of why we were there.
Pain, suffering, and hopelessness all walk beside us on a moment-by-moment basis. On any given day, tornado or not, we have the opportunity to bring relief to broken souls if we will only open our eyes, loosing our vice-like grip on our time and money, and be a willing vessel. The Holy Spirit doesn’t call us to strive. In fact, He calls us to stop striving. To rest in Him. To be pliable clay in the hands of the potter.
God is fully aware of the needs of all His children. He will position us right where He wants to use us but we must pay attention, step in, and stop overthinking.
The world is broken, but it will not always be. We have been given a great hope in Christ that we should not be able to contain. We are filled with the very Spirit of God who radiates life and healing through His Bride, the Church.
Today, as I prayed for direction, the Lord showed me this through my friend, Vicki:
“The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you.”
I might add two important words to that last sentence:
The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is Christ in you.
Finally, to quote one of my favorite songwriters and poets:
Do you feel the world is broken? (We do)
Do you feel the shadows deepen? (We do)
But do you know that all the dark won’t stop the light from getting through? (We do)
Do you wish that you could see it all made new? (We do)Is He Worthy? by Andrew Peterson
The end of all this pain is coming. It will not always be this way. We will not always hurt and grieve. Until then, as the darkness encroaches and we fight to stand upright under the weight of suffering, our kind and gentle Father lifts us up off the rocky soil and binds us to himself, the true vine, in order to pour His lifeblood into us.
“Abide in me,” He says in John 15. “Apart from me you can do nothing.”
The needs around us are great. Overwhelming, even. But in Him we are given everything we need to meet those needs in the name of Jesus.