I cannot imagine.
I cannot imagine being a mother and searching among mountains of rubble for my child.
I cannot imagine grieving the loss of my home...that was a simple tent amongst many.
I cannot imagine looking for family members that I may never find.
Sometimes I wonder why I turn on the news, or click on articles that display a scene of the latest tragedy. I wonder why so many innocent people suffer daily. I wonder why we ask God to break our hearts for what breaks His. It hurts so desperately.
Why learn about terrible tragedies when I can do nothing about it?
I recently read John Donne’s poem, No Man is An Island. Donne writes, “Therefore, never send to hear for whom the bell tolls...for it tolls for thee.”
We should never wonder who someone was or how they passed. We must simply mourn their loss because they are human. Human like us.
Haiti—a place very dear to my heart— recently experienced great loss at the hands of a storm. I don’t know if the people I grew to love are safe, but I will mourn with them. I will step into awareness of the brokenness of our world in order to clamp hands tightly with those suffering deep anguish. Who am I to turn away when God’s children are hurting? I should, at the very least, be in sorrowful prayer for them, but I should also be allowing my heart to lead me to compassion, and my compassion to action.
This is why we beg God to break our hearts for those who are hurting and lost. They are our fellow creation. God’s most special creation. And I have found that those bold enough to get down on their hands and knees and ask our Father for this tender heart, are the ones who make a difference.
I desperately want to make a difference. If all I need to sacrifice in order to bring hope to the hopeless is my own comfort, then I would be selfish not to pray this prayer when so many are experiencing a life that offers no comfort at all.
I don’t think it is an accident that I read this week in Romans 14:7-8, “For we don’t live for ourselves or die for ourselves. If we live, it’s to honor the Lord. And if we die, it’s to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.” What would bring God honor? To turn our heads in order to avoid pain? Or to weep with those who weep? We are both God’s handiwork, and workers with a calling to execute His work well.
So I challenge you, as well as myself, to be in prayer. Beg God to grant mercy on His suffering children. Turn on the news. Learn about the devastation happening all around us. Most importantly: open your Bible. Take a risk and venture down a path that will teach you the hope that Christ offers, so that we may know best how to serve those who need it.
And here is a piece of hope for you, friend. Whatever storm you are headed down or in the midst of, be reminded: “But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded” (Genesis 8:1).
God is mighty to conquer any storm. God remembers you, He sees you, He sees your pain, and He deeply cares about you. I pray that your waters will recede and that God will calm your storm just as He did for Noah, and Jonah, and His disciples.
Be at peace, offer hope, and join me in prayer for our closed hearts and suffering world.