I like walnuts in my blackberry salad. I like them a lot. I eat the same thing when I come here. Winter Blackberry Salad: greens, blackberries, goat cheese, and………walnuts. I sit here in this house supposedly built by Al Capone on a mountain made of nostalgia amidst the presence of peace – and my thoughts surround me.
Listening to my kindred brother, Sir Sean, talk of freedom, pain, and change last night…… He dreams such big dreams and brings the reality of possibility closer to life. An epic soul. It has been a while since I had heard the stories……working together on and off for what seems like years now, I have heard them often. I have seen the pictures many times. Yet, when I saw them again tonight, my heart re-broke. I was a bit caught off guard.
I realized something. I have become jaded. Or maybe just desensitized. Or maybe tough. It has become common place for me to talk of children who are robbed of their childhood, girls who are brutally raped before the age of 12, children killing men out of a will not their own. War. Hate. Brutality. Madness. I think somehow you have to desensitize yourself to hold your head above water. Hoping for those who feel hopeless. Opening the door of healing for the broken.
My heart is sore. Sometimes I think I laugh so loudly because I hurt so deeply. There must be a balance, somehow. This work is not for the faint of heart but must be for strong in spirit. Being taken further and further down the road of pain……in the midst of my office as much as the midst of a Congolese displacement camp. God is able to shed my physical eyes daily. For that, I am so very thankful. For the opportunity to give them hope – I am honored. For being able to hold their little hands as they hurt, I am remarkably grateful.
I am the lucky one.
The lucky one.
Father, God of heaven and all of earth. I come to you tonight with a sore heart and a tainted spirit and I am thankful. I desperately wish for your heart, and with that comes hurting for the hurting……and I am hurting. But my hope is bigger than my hurt and the warmth of sharing with them a part of your love and healing outweighs it all.
What is bigger than this pain? Healing. Hope. Heaven. Three words I hold to the death. What is greater than their stories of pain? Their stories of Survival. What is larger than their life or war? Their life of Love. What surpasses the horrific past? The presence of healing waters and the dreams of a Heavenly God.
You. Simple. You.
I do not live in their pain. I cannot. I will not. I live in their future. Their Future of Peace. Their Hope of Healing. Their stories that I will be telling and re-telling and telling again. Helping the world to see what true Resilience looks like. Bringing the nations a glimpse of true Forgiveness. Showing the world what true Joy looks like. Not from me – not from me at all. From them. From You.
Through the grayness of your ashes – I see your color.
Through the weakness of your bones – I feel your strength.
Through the residue of your pain – I see you shine.
Though the brokenness of your heart – You are whole.
Battered and Bruised…..your body bears scars. As does your spirit. But your soul. My child, your soul is as I see it. As I will always see it.
Beautiful. Radiant. New.
You are not what life has done to you. You are what I am in you. You are mine. And I am Yours. And we are One. ~ I am, Your God. Forever Always. Here.