Nov 15, 2010

This is where I get deep..

I wasn't born yesterday, so it would be fair to say that I've seen my share of pain in this world. My parents did a really good job of sheltering me for a really long time, as any parents should do. Then I did a really good job of picking up where they left off. Pretty much the only pain I saw was the pain I couldn't avoid.
Sadness over losing a friend, devastating heartbreak over losing your first love, or the "pain" of not getting what you want, because as you know when you're a teenager it really is the end of the world--those kinds of pains.

I have had a very blessed life. I had two amazing parents who loved each other and loved us. Who modeled a healthy life and love for us. We grew up in church, we loved Jesus, what more does anyone need? They struggled in many ways, but we never knew. To me my life was perfect. We wanted things of course, what kid doesn't. But truly we wanted for nothing. We had an amazing childhood.

But there was another side of life that for the longest time I didn't realize existed. I really and truly didn't.
If you don't watch the news, you don't have to hear about war, famine, or disease.
If you don't listen to the commercials, or visit the hospitals you don't have to hear about all the men, women and little kids who are sick and dying of cancer.
Let me tell you It's really, REALLY easy to turn a blind eye, because I've done it most of my life. But then you grow up, you move out and you move on. It's not so easy to stay ignorant. You don't have to watch the news, but your co-workers do. The internet makes information so readily available. You can't avoid the tough side of life anymore as hard as you try.

Your husband joins the military and gets sent into the heart of the war.
Your father gets sick and dies of cancer.
You hit financial rock bottom.
Your best friend loses her child.
Your friends and families marriages start crumbling to the ground one by one...

There is so much pain in this world.
REAL pain.
Pain I don't have to see if I can somehow stay in the bubble I've created.
Pain I can't stand to see because it's pain I can't fix.
You see, I'm a fixer, by nature. I like to fix people's problems, like they are my own personal cross to bare. I was blessed with an over abundance of compassion and empathy, but believe me, sometimes it doesn't quite feel like a blessing. I break and hurt so easily.
When I drive past the homeless man on the street corner with his cardboard sign, I look away. If I looked at him, if I actually made eye contact I might feel his pain. It breaks my heart to see his crushed spirit through his dirty, tired, sad eyes. It's as if by one look he's begging me to do something, anything. But what can I do? I'm nobody special. So much pain, too much pain for one person to fix. I want to give them some spare change but then the words "..they'll just buy booze with the money.." echoes through my head and I stop myself. Why am I so quick to judge? And then I get discouraged before I even try, and I do the only thing I know how to do, I pray. I pray God into their lives, and I thank God for everything I have, and I drive away.

But more and more lately it's been pressed upon my heart.
Maybe it's just the holidays? I don't know..
But I feel like the praying is just not enough. It's good and it's necessary, and I will never stop. But I want to do more. I want to do something..
I am reminded of God's words in Matthew 23:40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ And isn't that what it's all about? Reaching people for Jesus? Being Jesus in the flesh?
Maybe my attitude is all wrong. No, there's no maybe about it.
He doesn't call us to necessarily fix the problems, for we could never do that. That's HIS job. But he calls us to help. To be his hands, his feet, his light and his love in this world. "In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."

I don't know how I'm going to help or if I'll ever 'change the world', but one thing I do know is that I want to try. I can't just sit idle and do nothing.
God has a plan for my life and that is to fulfill HIS plan.
What are you waiting for?


Audrey Thompson said...

I love this. I so empathize with you. The blessing my pastor ends church with every Sunday is "Go and be the hands and feet of Jesus". It is truly who we are called to be, even though it leads us into the front of the battle.