Most of my life has been rather sheltered. My eyes were closed to the pain of this world.
I’m not so sheltered anymore. Most of the hurt in my own life was brought on myself, consequences of my own sins. But the hurts that make me long for heaven are the ones of so many people I’ve met in the past few years:
The children whose parents hurt them, intentionally or not. Those who spend years in foster care or orphanages. Those who probably should be removed from their homes but haven’t. Children anywhere in the world who are starving, or suffering disease.
The parents we’ve served through Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. Babies just aren’t suppose to die.
Those whose physical bodies betray them. The pain they endure. From cancer — or any other disease. Even my dad who can no longer easily talk or swallow, and feels his dignity is gone because of it.
Our friends whose son fought cancer 13 years before being released from pain and suffering last month.
A dear friend whose little boy died of the flu almost two years ago. Friends whose little girl drowned. A blog friend who lost her littlest boy in a tragic accident a little more than two years ago, and the one who lost laid her son’s little body to rest today. A real-life mom I know who just today shared with me the story of losing her fourth child more than four years ago, when he was just 2 1/2 years old.
So much pain. We live in a broken world. But it won’t always be this way. And therein lies our hope.
Something I’ve been thinking about a great deal lately is that we have no idea how many seemingly idyllic homes contain great suffering behind their doors. The first time this really hit me was when our friends began hospice for their 21-year-old son. Driving by, you would not know they were waiting and grieving as this young man in the “prime” of his life died painfully. As I’ve driven to and fro lately, I keep wondering how many homes are currently dealing with something like that. And until Jesus does return, how do I minister to them? I don’t have any answers yet, but I am thankful God is beginning to open my eyes. One of the most difficult but necessary prayers I’ve ever prayed (and continue to pray) is this: Lord, break my heart for what breaks Yours.
I pray He continues to break my heart.