Saturday, October 26, 2013

When God Breaks Your Heart for What Breaks His

It's almost midnight and I can't sleep. The whirring of the fan and the soft feather pillows are not a comfort this night. Too much weighing on my mind. A restless heart wrestles with God. There's this kid...and I can't get him out of my head.

Unkempt and dirty, he rides around the neighborhood riding his scooter...always alone. You know this kid, too. The one that knocks on your door and wants to know if your kids can play, and the first thought you have is..."Um, listen kid, I feel sorry for you and all, but I'm just not sure you're a good influence, ya know? I know it's not your fault, but..." And you find yourself shutting the door in his face more than you allow him in. At eight years old, you can see his future mapped out for him. Absent parents. In and out of jail with no thought of how they have abandoned the kids they brought into this world. Grandparents who are so broken themselves they can't properly care for anyone, now struggling to raise a kid they don't seem to want or care much about. And others can only say, "Well, it's better than being in the system."

This kid. This kid has family but lives like an orphan. And it's breaking my heart.

Midnight comes and goes and still I can't sleep because now the Lord is nudging me to pray my best mom prayer over this kid. See, a mother knows what this kid needs. He needs a family. He needs someone to love all over him and let that love and concern wash away that brokenness. That lie screaming in his face that tells him a thousand times a day he's rejected, unwanted and nobody cares. He needs a mom that will hold him and rock him and whisper in his ear that someone does care...He needs a dad that will set some healthy boundaries for him and show him how to respect himself enough to say no to trouble when it comes knocking. He needs a dad that will raise him up right, show him how to hold a door open for a lady, treat a woman with honor and respect. He needs a dad to teach him the value of a good education, hard work and being kind to others. But see, that takes commitment, and that requires something...something I'm not sure we can give enough of to make a difference.

Tears spilling onto my pillow, now feeling a burden for this kid like I've never felt and my heart is still twisted into knots. "God, your word promises that you set the solitary in a family. This child needs a family. Will you do that for Him, Lord? Will you? Because He needs it sooner rather than later. Don't let this boy become another statistic." I find myself pleading with God not to let this boy go down the same road as his parents. I don't want him to repeat those same mistakes. I want to see that generational curse broken. Yes, this kid can be trouble sometimes. He is the problem child in my complex. But he isn't a bad kid. He is an unparented kid. An unwanted kid. Neglected and unloved. My stubborn, reluctant heart is still wrestling with God. "Am I this boy's keeper, Lord?"  "Did I ask for this? Don't you know I have enough on my plate with my own kids, my own family?" 

My mind momentarily wanders to the story of the Good Samaritan. Am I my brother's keeper? Is that what this is all about? I begin to question God again. "What exactly are you asking me to do here?" Because I'm smart enough to know that when God begins to break your heart over something, He's also asking you to be part of the answer.

Morning comes all too soon and once again this boy is on my mind. Thoughts of sadness overshadow my day before it's even begun. I pick up my Bible and read Psalm 68:6.

"A father to the fatherless; a defender of widows is God in His holy dwelling. God places the lonely in families; He sets the prisoners free and gives them joy, but the rebellious live in a dry, sun scorched place."

As I prayed for this boy to receive a family, I know in my heart that family is mine. I don't know where that will lead any of us. I don't know what all that means at this point. All I know is, somehow I have to give more of myself than I've been willing to do in the past. Because the broken can't give away what they don't have, and somebody has to love this boy. He is just one of many. One of many that has the potential to grow up and be the second or third generation of his family, repeating the same mistakes as his parents and someday possibly fathering a child and ending up walking away...because somebody didn't care enough to show him the right way to love. I could say it's not my job to do someone else's responsibility. I could say that and walk away and ignore the weight of conviction as I watch this kid wander by himself day in and day out, around the neighborhood. I could look the other way and go back to bed when this boy is wandering the parking lot looking for his grandpa, wondering why, when it's already dark, no one is home to tuck him into bed and make sure he's safe. I could say no to a lot of things, but I'm wondering if I should. After last night's heart wrestling with God and a heart wrenching prayer, how can I? Somebody has to love the orphans, the homeless, the cranky neighbor across the street and the multitudes of people that cannot heal or find their compass in life, all because they are broken. The sad thing is, I had this sudden realization that I had put years and years worth of prayer and effort into trying to love others that didn't want my love, didn't appreciate my prayers or and didn't want to be knit together as family. I spent so much energy frustrated, resentful and angry over the rejection from those that did not know how to accept that love or give it back, that I completely missed the one right under my nose practically crying out for someone to heal his brokenness. His heart is torn and bloody and needs to be bandaged. And now I know. For years there has been one specific prayer that has gone unanswered. It was our family's prayer to find the right church and know we were an integral part of something bigger than ourselves. God has answered many other prayers, yet that one thing He remained silent about. Now it all makes sense. We were people looking for a family, yet God has called us to be spiritual parents and He is going to bring the rest. Spiritual children. Maybe you've been asking God where you fit, also, and haven't quite found the right place.

All I can tell you is, keep asking; keep praying for God to lead you to the right people. Because church as we once knew it is no longer the same. That paradigm is changing because there is no way that current model of church is sufficient to hold the harvest. Those nets are too small. Our concept of church doesn't have to be within the four walls of a local building where people meet. We are the church and Christ is in us. The Christ in us longs to touch those that are lost, hurting, abandoned and alone. He longs to set the lonely in a family where He is the Head, and the Father's love can be poured out on those He knits together. You just have to ask Him where to find the moms and dads and sisters and brothers that He wants to be a part of your life.  They're out there. Spiritual mothers and fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles and little ones. They need you, and whether or not you are ready to accept it, you need them. You. Need. Them. We each have something valuable to offer someone else. Maybe you can teach that lost young man a trade. Give him some loving, fatherly advice. Or give that pregnant teen a home and stability until she finds her way. Maybe you can offer a meal to that elderly person that is so lonely inside her apartment she feels everyone has forgotten her, or that young person that could use some help with his homework. I don't know what you have, but you have something to give. Just give it without judgment, no strings attached. What seems small in our estimation could mean the world to someone else. It could be as simple as a hug or a kind note in the mail. It could be a prayer or letting someone else know about the God that answered your prayer. There is someone God wants to send you to, you just need eyes to see them. They need hope and you need to give a part of yourself away. You are their miracle, and somehow...though you may not understand how...they are yours. Our miracles are wrapped up in each other, you know. Someone out there is praying for you to find them and become knit together with them.Others may not even know how to pray, but God will answer anyway...simply because HE LOVES US THAT MUCH. He knows what we need before we even ask and He will have someone else pray and ask on behalf of someone else's need. He is a good Father that is always looking for a way to take care of His kids. Ask, seek and knock. For everyone that asks, receives. Those that seek, will find. And those that knock, the door will be opened to them.

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