My dear friend Jean has spent the past eight years or so showing me what it is to get to know others intentionally, to be the hands and heart of Christ when and where we don’t necessarily have to be.
Over the simplicities of sweet tea and card games she has had this way of looking into my eyes and holding with a most delicate care the pieces of my heart that are heavy. She speaks truth when truth is not easy to speak and listens intently when a quick response would be the habit of most. She rejoices with those who rejoice and weeps with those who weep.
Her example, the examples of my parents and others pluck out a steady melody on my heart strings even now, half a world away, as a Love greater than understanding or circumstance looks into the eyes of these children and yearns to hold with a most delicate care the pieces of their hearts that are heavy.
What is a few months’ time in the lives of children? Less than a breath, a vapor. Heart wounds of the past run deep, present transitions are significant, and futures hold certain uncertainties. What can a stranger say? Nothing of substance if the words, the strength, the deeds, are mine and mine alone.
If it is no longer I who liveth, but Christ who liveth in me, may they see His love greatly. May my words be kept at bay when listening love is what they need and may truth be swift to speak into their doubts and fears when called for. Conviction urges me to put my agenda down, to know that I don’t know best. To test what could be done with any given moment against the Spirit’s leading.
Today it looked like learning enough of their language to sing songs about the tireless, endless, relentless love of Jesus, storing the words away in their hearts for the dark days that will surely come, not shying away from preparing chicken from living to table, and cleaning foreign supplies from old missionary barrels to teach them how they may be put to good use.
Compelled to earnestly ask for the nations I’ve been utterly humbled as God fills my arms with their children, their future. No time’s enough time in my finite mind, but the Maker of minutes and Master Composer of all melodies played on our heart strings brings hope that He is using it well.