18 June 2012
The morning dawns…the sky is filled with haze, sounds of chanting prayers rising against a city still sleeping. The birds sing to the Creator, the song I love to hear. We walk out of our protected home, the dirt streets streamed with garbage, waste. The children flock around us, many begging…many mocking. Some just longing for a hug or a smile. My heart feels pain, then joy, then numb. The smell of dirt, sewage and burning garbage turns my stomach–not only because of the stench, but because I know what it means. Children, sick, homeless are burning garbage in the dump up the road. I see a blind woman shaking coins on the side of the road. A man lies with parts of his feet missing–calling out, desperate. The cars and donkeys race by without seeing. I ask Jesus how I do my days here. I can’t look away. Here, you can’t forget. You can’t ignore. But what? What are we to do? What does Jesus want our hearts to do? I ask Him. He reminds me that His love has overcome. His heart breaks for all this. He simply needs my hands, my heart–ready and willing to love…to love just one at a time. Some days that will be my precious 5…sometimes it will be a neighbor…sometimes it will be a child on the street…sometimes a mommy struggling to survive. Obedience. I must listen and love. The numbers…the faces are too many. It can feel like too much. I need His eyes and Spirit to lead and guide to where and who He needs me to love. I am praying to understand Him more…to see His love in the longing eyes…to see His peace in the souls that have Enough. I want to see Him. I want to be His face to many.
The kids’ hearts have been strong. They walk bravely as mobs of children yell words and laugh. They smile and hold their hands. They say, “Salem” while children mock. They approach our days with joy and adventure…sometimes longing for family and home–I can see it. But they pray for the people of Ethiopia…they pray that we have ‘happy hearts’. Yes, only in Christ we can. We can do this day in love.