Monday, 10 March 2014

Did you have a 'good time'?

If you have asked me this question in the last week you may well been rewarded with a confused face and a non-committal answer.

The short answer?

 I have never been so proud of my boys since becoming a mother 12 1/2 years ago. 

I watched them embrace change like professionals. 

I saw them roll up their sleeves and get stuck in to the middle of lives so far removed from their own.

I saw the love of Jesus being displayed in my own children.

I never knew they were capable of such fierce, practical compassion.

I didn't realise they would throw their hearts open wide with such abandonment to people they never even knew existed before.

I saw the adventurous spirit we have worked hard to deposit in them becoming a reality. 

We laughed, a lot. 

We were in it together, and it brought us closer with shared memories. 

We saw prayers answered - impossible ones too. 

It was truly an incredible walk on water for our whole family.

The long answer?

Faced with the intensity of raw poverty and injustice that isn't even hidden, my heart has been so ripped to shreds that I have no idea how to piece it back together again.  And even if I manage to, it won't ever be the same shape again. 

Common scenes like this one, where pedestrians walk past a tiny little girl fast asleep on the street, haunt my waking hours and my dreams at night.  Stray dogs and stray people litter the streets - treated with the same indifference. 

No value, no love and no hope. 

What will become of this little girl, so cherished by her Maker yet so ignored by society?

What will happen to the family who live in a car-boot liner outside the gate of our guesthouse?  No home to speak of, yet wide smiles for us as we gave them our pizza.

What will happen to the delightfully bright street-girls to whom I taught English?  Who will protect them from being sold into prostitution?  Some as young as eight....

Who will love the unlovely?

Who will bring justice for those who face violence every day?

How can we turn the other way now we have seen with our own eyes?

And so, rather than having answers, I am faced with yet more questions.  Questions which burn at my already inflamed heart and for which I have no reply.  Ferocious questions which punch me in the stomach and leave me gasping for breath.  Unrelenting questions which produce tears from a deep well inside me I didn't know was there.  Questions which I can't even begin to put into words.

So, if you ask me if I had a 'good time' and are baffled by my answer.  So am I. 

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