I'm writing the obvious... because I am out of words and the obvious is all I have. This blog has been silent, which is fine. The reason is not. My heart seems broken. Frozen. Numb. Writing those words also brings shame with regret mixed in. I'm not much of a shame collector, but regret sneaks up like a thief. I live in freedom. But these days are different. These days have brought us low. In our words. Our behavior. Our actions. Or failure to act. Our fear.
I live in America where I sit on my comfy bed, my puppy snoring next to me, drinking my Yeti filled container of steaming coffee, typing my privilege. The heat in my house warms me along with the sun shining through the windows. I hear the UPS truck down the street. He will drop packages on the porch soon. I text the hubs this morning on my new phone. The one with so many gigs I will never, ever have to delete another picture, app, or loved ones text.
The shame and regret are for the years I have struggled to be consistent in response and prayer for our compassion children. My trip to Ecuador years ago opened my eyes to the need. The hubs always generous, jumped at the chance. We chose five boys and girls from Ecuador. The easy part was writing the check. The hard part was praying consistently for Elizabeth, Jhonatan Mateo, Jhon Anthony, Hellen and now Fernando. Some of the names have changed over the years, moving, aging out. The pictures have stayed in my memory. Watching small grow tall. Shy grow a bit bold. You can tell a bit from their smiles and prayer requests, usually for their fathers, for work.
Checks for birthdays and Christmas quickly responded with thank you's and pictures of gift choices. A pair of pants, shoes, mostly food for their family. We have a dozen pictures of children with their choices laid out for us to see. Proof that they receive monies sent to them. I walked with Compassion employees in mountain communities, city streets and sat in their offices. I'm a believer.
The picture you see is a part of the communication that arrives in my mail box. I struggle to respond well. Some days it looks and feels like chaos. Poor me. Pathetic me. The doer in me rallies the troops (or hubs). Fix the problem, stop the leak, build the bridge. But there is more... and I miss most of it.
The regret is not for what I have. It is for what I have lost. Somewhere along the path I doubted I could make a difference. I fell for the lie of satan... that I am only one. The physical and emotional toll of caring for others... that is the hard part. The hands and feet. The words of encouragement. That will never come from a check. Ink will never wrap it's arms around a child, reminding them they are loved.
I think of... Justice. Where do we find it? I look to the east, west, the north and south and it is absent. I cannot find it in my own country, among my own people.
"He hath shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? Micah 6:8
I am reading and watching... helpless. I think of my children when they were small. The protective eyes and arms that never slept. The life they know because of the soil they feel under their toes. I told you my words were obvious. Others feel this frozen, numb, anger, terror, helpless disease. I know I am not so special in my affliction. I am reminded... look up. My constant reminder, look up.
My lips ask God... "Food for their bellies, protection for their bodies and hope for their souls." That is my prayer. Right now God. Every moment of everyday. God... Food for their bellies, protection for their bodies and hope for their souls. If my soul cannot pray this each day for these then what value am I to you God?!
Ecuador. Syria. Greece. The children and young ones in slavery. Reign in this evil till it rots in its own disease GOD. The hidden places of neglect and brokeness in our communities. God, raise us up to believe in the power of You and know you have prepared us. Let us be brave and wrap those we touch... in love. Only love. Just love.
and God... thank you for always giving me more chances. No more regrets.