Today as I practiced the Examen, writing about my feelings, emotions, concerns and praise, my mind wandered to things of the world that cripple my heart. And I have only one answer to all of them – stay tuned.
Some of the cripplers…
- Imagine being a little boy whose daddy has been in Afghanistan for most of the life you remember, hoping that a hidden camera would capture you at the school assembly or football game or family gathering, surprised by the joy of being reunited. Every day on the very edge, every day going to bed disappointed that you won’t be on YouTube anytime soon.
- Imagine being able to keep only what you can carry on your back and in bags. Imagine walking past miles of streets, buildings, homes and schools that were once beautiful and now, rubble.
- Imagine carrying all of those things past the world you love, leaving what you once cherished. Not because it is gone, but because violence forces you to flee.
- Imagine yourself a little girl, far from home, praying as you endure the unspeakable. Praying that your family will never give up. That they will find you. Rescue you.
- Imagine having not one extra dollar to spend on a present for your children.
- Imagine that the best place you have to sleep is under the bridge, out of the wind.
- Imagine being afraid to drive your car through a strange neighborhood – not because of dangerous residents. Not because it’s the wrong side of town. But because it’s the “other” side of town and you might be mistaken for an outsider – a trouble-maker.
- Imagine that going to church is life-threatening.
Good golly, Miss Molly…
I’m no different than most of you. When I put all of these in a list, I run. I turn my head or close my eyes and shudder. I sing or clean the kitchen or pick up a magazine.
Anything to avoid the pain and heartbreak of the weight I cannot bear. The weight that others bear daily. The weight most of the world carries in some way, whether right here or far away.
I can’t bring daddies or mamas home. I can’t keep bombs from dropping or thieves from stealing little girls. I can’t change how we were born and I can’t house and feed the world. I can’t make haters love.
But God can. He doesn’t always do it when we ask – or at all. But He can.
And if you are looking for “better” or more complete answers, you need to find someone way above my pay grade. Because I can’t imagine what He’s thinking or doing or planning. Right now, right here or behind the scenes.
But this morning I got a peek at what I can do. I asked for a verse to speak to me. I asked for a me-sized answer.
And here it is – the answer I asked you to wait for. Listen, my lovelies. It’s the only answer I have:
Love like Jesus. (John 15:12 paraphrased)
That’s what I can do right now, right here, in my scene. I can love the bejeepers out of those near me. And, as I’m able and you’re able and he and she are able, we can contribute time, talents and treasures so those farther away can feel loved in ways we could never do on our own.
It’s the only answer I have. The only one that keeps me at least a little this side of sane while the world spins new and more sinister evils.
And when I do love and keep loving, when I do what Jesus asks me to – to love like He does – I discover more and more truth in this, my second blessing of the Season. Jesus promised:
I am leaving you with a gift—
peace of mind and heart!
And the peace I give isn’t fragile like the peace the world gives.
So don’t be troubled or afraid. John 14:27 (TLB)