Friday, February 09, 2007

Guess what everybody, I'm engaged!

So here's my (Heather's) reflection on S______a's situation. (Her name is not Santa, by the way, for all you wheel of fortune fans).
I drove her home last night and she spent the entire way telling me about her week. It was very intense, mostly because her life is intense.

There were times, even in the short drive, that I ceased to really pay attention. Couldn't tell ya what she said. Our lives have been incredibly different and I had no mental file for what I was hearing. So I just tuned out.

It'd been a long day. My 'pain place' (you know, the spot where the remnants of any awful things I'd seen, heard and experienced that day) was filled up and maxed out. I didn't have that reserve bottle of ministry gatorade to swig down so that I could be ready for what she was telling me was her life. So I unplugged. And I kept driving.

The closer I got to her place, the more tense and distressed she became. I started repeating over and over in my head, "Jesus, I don't want to leave her there. I just can't leave her there." and the apathy, masquerading as tiredness in me lost its fight and compassion rose up.

I made an active choice to engage my friend and to hear her. Respond to her. Pray for her. Reassure her. Remind her that we're only a phone call away. (Which, incidentally, she took me seriously on, because she called this morning at half past six...but seriously, I'm not complaining)

We arrived. Just before she shut the door she paused, and just looked in at me. I had 15 seconds to inject her with a shot of hope and light before she went into that awful house.
What words did I have?

"Please,"
I said,
"Before you decided to runaway (one of the options she is considering) please call me, and I'll come and get you. Just don't disappear. For real. Okay?"
She half-smiled and said "Okay." and then, "Heather, I love you." and then she was gone.

I watched as she entered that awful, infested, run-down house. Then, I lost it. A broken woman. I wept for her and her situation and the hardships that have been hers.
"It's not fair,"
I say to the Lord.
"Ahh...."
the Lord says to me,
"Heather, it would have been worse for her had you remained tuned out and closed off...she needs feel safe to talk and get all of this stuff out of the dark and into Light. And she needs to be heard. How can she rebuild a ruined life, or family, or even a people group, if firstly she can't even talk about it and secondly no one will listen?
See, I've got this theory, that sharing in the sufferings of Christ (like we read about in Philippians 1:29) isn't just about the physical hurts that come with persecution (i.e shootings, stabbings, being drawn and quartered, crucified) but that it is our privelege as His followers, to suffer by having our hearts broken for humanity like His does, and to bear the burdens of our brothers and sisters and cry out in prayer on their behalf like He does...

I believe that the more we choose to open up that secret place where we hold our tenderest selves and our most affected emotions and truly engage the 'others' whom The Lord of Hosts has intentionally ushered into our lives, than the more we will see the revolution we're craving - the Kingdom transformation from brokenness to healing. Raw devastation to sacred restoration. Utter abandonment into divine adoption. The Rebuilding. Restoring. Renewing.

When I'm engaged, it can hurt like a sonnofoagun but it's the gift of coming to know and share in His sufferings, and in doing so, begin to more closely resemble the Lord Jesus Christ.

And isn't that the point?

1 comment:

DebBurr said...

You are blessed with a burden!