02 June 2015

pondering simple.

SO, life in America.

I don't know if it's me or her or age or the day we live in or.  what.  

But it's just not very simple, is it?  

It's not that it's simple in Haiti.  Every day something happens or is seen or spoken that breaks my heart and leaves me asking Matt, asking Em, asking Him..."what do I DO about this?"  I've seen such hunger, such poverty, such injustice, such brokenness, such darkness, such tradition.  It's not able to be wrapped around nor able to be simply solved or fed or fixed or redone.

We do our best.  We pray through every situation.  We wish there was a "rule" for how to handle each, accept that there is not, struggle through to aiming at faithfulness to Him and great love, and we do our best.  We live in community, we give like the dickens and we mess up frequently and have learned almost all our lessons the hard way.

It's not that it's simple.  It's that we have much experience with the issues.

But now America, and the last few weeks in a major city, nonetheless, and the situations are all different, all the issues are new.   I'm heartbroken all over the place and have seen such different brokenness.  It's not able to be wrapped around or simple solved or cashed in.  And it leaves me asking again, "What do I DO about this?"

What do I DO at the longest-red-light-ever when a prostitute, eyes totally glazed over and empty and heart-breaking, leans provocatively on my window of the mini-van, seemingly totally unaware that it's just ME at the wheel, and these little girls asking and watching and wondering?  What do I DO when park after park after park men and women are sleeping on the ground, drinking on the benches, cussing and screaming loudly, most, seemingly crazy, which at home, is demon-possessed.  

When Lily tells me to come to her pretend store under the slide and when I ask what she sells, pulls out a pile of collected dime bags and acorn caps?  When the drunk man approaches us on the playground screaming, "YOU WHITE! Why the ___ are YOU here?"  When we are approached several times an outing by homeless people on the train, in the parking lot, at the playground (yeah, we hit a LOT of playgrounds, in case you couldn't tell) asking for money.
What do I do?  How do I answer the dozen questions of such observant and sensitive little girls?

When I read the news of what's happening RIGHT NOW in America, everywhere, and for once, I can't say, "I can't imagine how I would handle all of that if I were there!"

I can't imagine how to handle it all now that I am here.  

It is a rough day to be truly Christian.  A complicated day to be truly love and truly righteous.  There is no "rule" for every situation, no easy fix for so much.

I had the privilege of attending for several weeks a really authentic church in Philly, working hard in the middle of it all to not quit.  To be bold.  To love and grace while refusing to leave things unchanged, unaddressed.  Unshaken.  It gave me hope.  They still had a burly security dude at the front door.

At the end of each day as I think about what I need to do, next time, what I need to say to my girls--better, in the morning--and I pull out His Word to walk beside... He pushes through all the mixed up  broken clutter of our culture and our country and speaks the Truth. In Love.

It washes down so simple, though we all know it's not as simple to apply as it is to hide in our hearts.  

So we must. keep. doing. both.

Hiding it in our hearts and battling to apply.

Keep. Fervent. In. Your. Love.  (1 Peter 4)

Since Christ suffered, arm yourselves with the same purpose.
The end of all things is near,
so be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.
Keep fervent in your love for one another,
because love covers a multitude of sins.

Be hospitable to one another without complaint.
Each one has received a special gift...
employ it in serving one another as good stewards of God's grace.
Speak by God's Words,
Serve by God's strength.

Share the sufferings, and keep on rejoicing.

Don't suffer as murderers or thieves or evildoers or as meddlers
but if anyone suffers as a Christ-follower,
he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God.

For it is time for judgement to begin with the house of God;
and if it begins with us first, 
what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the Gospel?
And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, 
what will become of the godless man and the sinner?

Entrust your souls to a faithful Creator, and do what is right.

O. Chambers...“Him shall He teach in the way He chooses” (Psalm 25:12). At first, we want the awareness of being guided by God. But then as we grow spiritually, we live so fully aware of God that we do not even need to ask what His will is, because the thought of choosing another way will never occur to us. If we are saved and sanctified, God guides us by our everyday choices. And if we are about to choose what He does not want, He will give us a sense of doubt or restraint, which we must heed. Whenever there is doubt, stop at once. Never try to reason it out, saying, “I wonder why I shouldn’t do this?” God instructs us in what we choose; that is, He actually guides our common sense. And when we yield to His teachings and guidance, we no longer hinder His Spirit by continually asking, “Now, Lord, what is Your will?”


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