There are days...
You find yourself shaking.
Then the stirring comes... if you allow it.
One more school shooting. People pick up their fight for/against gun control. Meanwhile there are families shattered, parents crumpled on the floor, while we rant over our rights.
The pictures surface of children crying, hungry, afraid, parents fearing each moment as they try to begin a new life. They want peace, a little safety.
Similar to what we expect in America...
yet so different.
The pursuit of happiness. We demand it.
They have not asked for 401k's, two weeks vacation or an upgrade to a suite instead of a double.
They want peace... and a safe sleep for their babies.
At the end of a day I think of conversations of financial, emotional, spiritual battles... I look up and some days I wonder. I wonder why? Why, oh God do we battle, suffer, fear... and there are days I wonder what you think of us? I know you love us. That will always be enough.
Some days, the pain I see... my heart feels like lead. Heavy and cold and hard.
I drive home in darkness last night and I watch the young boy in the hoodie duck between the church building and the parsonage. He saw my lights. Did he wonder who I was, the police maybe? He takes the path of least resistance. Be still in the shadows until the lights move on.
I don't fear him. I fear for him.
I repeatedly look outside. Is he home yet or out in this wet, cold night?
Home can be hard.
I don't know him, but I know others like him. They believe they will prove themselves on the streets with the very things that could kill them.
His life is so different then the boy on my couch, yet they stand a few yards apart.
How do we bridge this gap?
How do we heal this ugly scar in our neighborhoods?
I think of the messages shared between women, coming together... surrounding a sister who is walking a hard path. The willingness to share ourselves makes my heart pump again and I know... deep down, there is still hope.
I look at these women coming out of the shadows, speaking up and out and for and with... and I am humbled. Humbled by the depth of courage and willingness to be known.
I am grateful. God knew.
My heart stirs.
In The Reason For God Tim Keller quotes C.S. Lewis, "They say of some temporal suffering,
"No future bliss can make up for it,'
not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory."
I read this over and over... and I know it is true. I have lived it. I believe.
Yes, there is hope, always hope.
We are brave. We are warriors. We are conquerors.
"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world."
Maybe the key is to keep digging into the Word. To be vulnerable and even though my heart will break, trust that He will mend it.
His Word will become bread and wine and life to my soul.
The heart stirs.
As I shed my pride of rights, desires and self love.... I may see that conquerors and warriors and the brave, grow strong because of Him. It is His strength that grows us into David and Esther and those who are not afraid of being shaken and stirred.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, And Your right hand will save me.
There will be days where we are overcome with what He opens our eyes to see. Don't shut your eyes in these moments. He is preparing us to be used, to see what many will not see. Be over-comers, instead of overcome.
Trust Him and in that trust recognize He will provide all you need.
Wait for Him and let Him do it. Not you.
In these moments.... Be still and know that He is God. (Psalms)
When we find our selves shaken and stirred, when He stirs that inner longing that wakens our soul, and reminds us that though it may break our hearts... He will be there. Grab a hold of it and never, ever let it go. It is what you were created for.