The sky is so blue today….I went for a walk and lay down in the grass to stare up at Heaven’s floor…
I wonder sometimes how I got so lucky. How am I here enjoying so much peace when I have brothers and sisters suffering deep loss not so far away.
They’re really not that far….6,142 miles, actually.
As I’m writing this it is 9:14 P.M. in Syria—yet the sky is so blue here.
And who knows what they’re experiencing in their minds.
What would it be like to live in that kind of constant fear?
This past week I was inwardly frustrated.
Selfishly so—not because of the news. God has been teaching me forgiveness lately and helping me find inward peace about certain situations. I feel that He has taught me so much about what it means to find personal freedom in forgiveness....and yet this week as I sought out closure I grew frustrated at the strong lack of it.
And then God gave it to me straight.
Today, he told me to open my computer.
A strange request, but I opened it up. On my screen was an article that I had left unread because I had been in a hurry. It was about the chemical attack in Syria.
I played the video on the screen and watched as a man conveyed his story of complete loss… this brave brother was forced to grieve the loss of 22 family members just days ago. Among them were his wife and two babies.
But I’m sure you’ve heard this already.
He began to sob as he asked the reporter, “What did they do?”
Those words rang in my ears. His family was innocent and yet all of them met death for no reason.
My personal suffering, my pain, is nothing—NOTHING compared to that kind of loss...I wake up to blue skies.
This kind of injustice turned my insides over and I grew angry. Hurt. Desperate for hope. As I cried tears of grief—tears that don’t compare to the anguish of my Father—I cried out to God and asked Him:
"What can we do?"
And He responded:
"Open your Bible."
Guys, it’s Easter...and I forget that this is the season that we remember the greatest injustice ever committed….This is what I read:
“From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, Lema Sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”)....And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit…” (Matthew 27).
Jesus deserved none of that pain and yet,
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5).
And this is where we find our hope.
I cried out to God today and He turned my face towards His words of comfort and light. Words that I too often keep to myself. This is our tool, our weapon for peace.
I have been praying lately about what to study at school and what purpose my eventual degree will serve.
And as God opened my eyes to his suffering children, and returned me to His book of hope, I was reminded that yes, this world needs experts in business or science or education. Of course, we need doctors and economists and teachers. After all, He did gift us for a purpose, but first and foremost the world needs all of us to be experts on peace…
The world desperately needs us to come out of hiding and share this secret that we keep to ourselves. They need us to read our Bibles every. Single. Day.
They need us to prove through our actions that the God we serve really is good and just and gracious and loving.
They need us to pray for them and offer ourselves to God on their behalf.
We need to stop silencing God’s Spirit that lives in us and begin to act for the sake of the suffering.
Keep listening to these stories of pain from across the world. These stories are our stories.
The things that these three organizations have taught me, lead ultimately to a heart of love. Let’s join them as we watch in awe of the work God is doing through each one of them….and let’s learn from them.
Learn the stories. Make them our own. Ask God to teach you His heart for the world.
And let’s love deeply so that we may share the hope of our blue skies.