Earlier this week I made a connection with a mother who adopted a child from Ollie’s orphanage. I had photographed her daughter while we were visiting the institution during our trip to bring our son home. Her daughter’s face “haunted” me, in a sense, when I first saw her and I have thought about her many times since that day. I was thrilled and thankful to hear she had been adopted and is now a part of a beautiful French family.
But then I begin to think about all the other children in thoseorphanage rooms. I had never seen them or thought much about them before that day. But now I know them. Now I have memories of them. I have their pictures on my phone because I can’t seem to muster up the will to delete the images. Those children and their realities have broken my heart.
I recently had a conversation with someone who said something to the effect of, “I never watch the News. Too many sad stories. It just depresses me.” It wasn’t the first time I had heard someone say that and, before I continue, she has every right to choose what she watches and doesn’t watch. But there is something about the sentiment behind avoiding the News that makes me cringe a bit because I think the reality is, in order to have the “beautiful feet” that Paul talks about, we have to risk having our hearts broken as well.
If we are going to bring Jesus to the broken and messy and hurting world, we are going to see things and hear things and read things and will be painful. We need to know our audience, and that will cost us something.
Here is my challenge for you, today:
Watch the News. Read the News. Listen to the News.
I don’t want to argue over which station is the most accurate. Trust me, I don’t care whether you watch FOX or NBC, it’s gonna be rough. A lot of people are in a lot of pain. Republican and Democrat. Muslim and Evangelical. Transgendered and Heterosexual. There are hundreds of thousands of children being sold in sex trafficking. There are entire villages of families being brutalized for “religious transgressions.”
Those eternal souls deserve to have their stories told and we, as fellow eternal beings, need to listen.
I know it’s hard to watch. I know it hurts. It hurts God too. He loves those souls. He created them. He cries with them and calls out to His people to help them. To care enough to do something. The problem is that with knowledge comes responsibility. We all know this. It’s a big reason why some of us turn the channel. We feel helpless. We feel guilty. We want to forget what we just saw as quickly as possible. Besides, what could we do? We can’t change the world.
Or can we?
There is an orphanage in Nanjing, China full of children who look just like my youngest son, most with “special needs” of some sort. They need people to care. Because if no one cares, they will all age out and live on the streets.
There are children drowning and washing up on the shores of Greece. They need people to care. They need “beautiful feet” to share the hope of Jesus with them.
There are families who have risked their lives to escape horrific persecution and are being allowed to start over in the US. They come with nothing. And for many of these families, they are greeted with fear and hatred and racism. Please care for them.
“Doing something” and “caring” doesn’t have to be hard. It doesn’t have to cost you anything. You don’t have to join the Peace Core or adopt an orphan or host a refugee family to have “beautiful feet.”
In fact, the most powerful thing we can do to change the world, we can do from right on our couches. We can bring the sadness and the depression and the anger and the hurt of the world to the feet of the Creator. We can talk to Him about it and we can plead the cases of the abused and the afflicted and the trafficked. We can war alongside the angels in Heaven who are fighting for the futures of the Nanjing orphans and the Haitian orphans and the kids in foster care. We can impact eternity with our prayers. But prayer is a weapon that is best yielded when the warrior knows how to use it. So know what you are praying for. Watch the news. Read that post. Listen to the podcast. Be informed about what is happening in the world. Its ugly and gross and dark. But, praise God, we have the Light.
It will probably hurt. I will probably cry. I will want to stop reading or change the channel. I will want to get the images out of my head. But, Lord, don’t let me forget. Don’t let me get so comfortable that I stop caring. I want beautiful feet and a broken heart.
12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. 14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
One thought on “Beautiful Feet and A Broken Heart”
Yes to all of this, Amber. It is SO painful to enter into the mess. Yet that is exactly what Jesus does for us. If we want to experience Christ and Christlikeness, there is no other way but to engage.