do they have mommy's and daddy's?

Last night Heidi was struggling with the girls...they were being--oh, how shall I say this--difficult. Yeah...difficult. Difficult meaning selfish, irritating, and naughty. She had this brilliant idea of showing them a episode of Oprah (please keep reading regardless of your opinion of Oprah) which showed the realities of orphans in Africa and their desperate plight. I've seen this before and it's just life-altering.

I wasn't there, but Heidi was telling me that the girls watched with wonder...especially Aly. Aly had been struggling with "not being thankful" that evening and watching this was stirring her. She turned to Heidi when it came to a close and her eyes were watery. Heidi asked her if she was ok and she just burst into tears. She said, "I'm sorry for not being thankful." and then said, "Do they have mommy's and daddy's?" Heidi shared with her that many of them don't. She cried all the harder. Her spirit is so tender and sensitive.

I wish I felt that sort of knee jerk compassion for humanity. Though I must admit, I have come to a richer understanding of God's love for this world in recent years, I still have so much hardness inside of me that needs broken up. I still don't let my heart feel all that it could...I protect myself from being too affected by the brokeness around me. I don't let my heart close enough to the pain of others to taste their tears and feel their fears...it's like there are survival mechanisms in place to keep others at arms length. What is that?

My heart's desire is to feel tears well up in my eyes at the sight of orphans and widows, homelessness and hopelessness. I mean to let my heart go to those places of deep hurt feeling every bit of the pathos that Jesus needs me to feel in order to emulate his heart to this world. Without Sym"pathy" and em"pathy"...I don't stand a chance of following in the steps of the Relational Rabbi. To be "moved with compassion" as Jesus was. I want the supple heart of my daughter today. A heart that takes in the brokeness and breaks with it. The older I get, the more I have to hold my heart accountable to feel these things. It's just easier to drift toward self-protection.

What a great idea my wife had yesterday. There is nothing that attacks selfishness like brokeness. May we find ourselves moving toward the mess as a church...it's not only where we belong...it's where we only just begin to believe.

Comments

Ty said…
Well put my friend. I've been having some discussions with some of our college students in regard to this. The difficulty is that we have to be intentional or our "rich" culture will cause us to forget that the world is in need and we are in a place that we can do something about it!
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