Monday, October 29, 2007

when night falls hard

My team and I just finished reading Bitter Chocolate, a book about child sexual abuse in India. Last night, when I turned the last page, I felt like vomiting. I felt like crying for a very, very long time until my tear ducts were spent.

What have we done?
What has the enemy done to our world?
Why do so many hurt with an intensity that ought to shove the spark of life right out of their ribcages?

I put the book away last night and moved to the bathroom to brush my teeth. I stood there, and I couldn't think about anything else other than the horror contained in those pages. Oh Jesus, have mercy.

What is my place in righting the wrong of this world, I ask myself. A question we all ask. I have been shown so much grace. I don't understand why I got to be the little girl who never knew physical or sexual abuse, why I got to grow up healthy and well-fed, happy, loved and valued. Why I had a Mom who prayed with me every night and braided my hair in pigtails. Why I had a Daddy who checked my closets for boogey-men and taught me how to ride a bike without training wheels. On the trail of these questions, Jesus' words in Luke follow close behind. "From everyone who has been given much, much will be required."

I believe in hope. I believe in love. I think I believe in them more strongly than I did two months ago. But still...some nights I am not okay. Some nights I want to sob. Some nights I want to close my eyes to the pain and pretend the world is not fallen and we are lovers of people and of God, every one of us.

Some nights these things pile up heavy on me.

In a dark room, His Word is like the ruler-strip of light underneath the door, offering the promise of a better place beyond.

"Your statutes have been my songs in the house of my sojourning. I remember Your Name in the night, O Lord." -Psalm 119:54

When I put away my toothbrush and crawled into bed, I thought about when I was a child. When I was a child, the anticipation of my birthday or Christmas was almost too much to bear. A few lines of calendar squares away, there the event stood, blazing in all its glory. The long-stretching weeks until its arrival seemed to belie its actual existence. But did the day not always come?

So this day is on its way:
"It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be
established as the highest of the mountains, and it shall be lifted up above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it, and many nations shall come, and say, "Come let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to house of the God of Jacob, that He may teach us His ways and that we may walk in His paths." -Micah 4:1-2

Until then, Jesus, here are our hands for You to make strong.

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