I had asked God to put me with the hardest kids. I asked to have the hardest job. Yet when tough times come, I want to hide out in my bungalow. To be with teenagers 24/7 was not my idea of missions. God calls me to reach out to them. Why should I go visit them in their home? I saw them all day. “Go.” But they’re probably sleeping. I did my part already. “Go.” These visits turn out to be the most encouraging at times. In reaching out during my pain, i receive healing.
Here she comes, longing to get a hug and be told that she is loved. The most troubled little girl. Who always writes I love you on the board. Who always shows me her scratches, bruises and bumps, some which I cannot see. Who goes away to be alone, who puts her head done and doesn’t go to play with the other kids. this is what I came here for! For her, to love kids like her. I didn’t know the reality. I had a romanticized view of helping the hurting. I didn’t know that in coming close to the broken, it would hurt. I didn’t realize that it required so much humbleness, patience, and self sacrifice. I didn’t know that it required becoming weak. Like Paul who says,”to the weak I became weak that I might win the weak.”
And now she comes and hangs around. I feel irritated. This daily demand for attention draws me away. Cant she go play with the other girls. Its dinner time, she should be eating. Why is she here? I hug but not from the heart. I am ashamed of my actions. What kind of a missionary am I?
Here is another student. One other I need to love but have a hard time accepting. He lashes out in anger and I fear to speak with him. How rude and disrespectful are his phrases at times! He smiles when he sees how angry I have become! How dare he! There is a deep pain inside of him. A hurt that has not been healed from his childhood. The beatings he received from his father. I know these things. I should be more understanding! Yet, I distance myself and don’t pursue a relationship with him. Lord, I’m done with Him. “Why are you carrying this burden? My yoke is easy and My burden light. Trust me. I am the one in charge of changing hearts. Don’t take My role on yourself.”
Discouragement is my companion when I don’t trust the Lord. I am not the teacher these students need. I’m supposed to motivate and encourage them. I’m supposed to be positive and upbeat! Yet I am so often dragged down into the pits of depression and no site of my God given vision. How can I motivate if I myself need motivation?“My power is made perfect in weakness.” I cant do this job! Hidden pride. “Your’e right, you can’t. Without Me that is. I send you to do what you can’t do so that I get all the glory.” Isn’t it interesting how God sends us on an impossible mission, so that we stay dependent on Him? When will I accept the fact that I am unworthy, incapable, and weak? That my all is in Christ and it is in His power, His holiness, His joy, His willingness, that I should depend on. I long for the day when in the middle of my weakness I give Him the glory and rejoice in His perfect character!
To walk with the broken, while I myself am broken is a journey that is most rewarding in the end.