My heart aches something strange tonight.

My heart aches something strange tonight. Its not a bad ache, but just a deep, sad ache. Do you ever feel sad for something? Wishing you could fix a great, big problem, but you don’t know how? I feel so insignificant when faced with the problems of the world. The problems pile up all around me, making me feel helpless and like nothing I do will ever be significant.

I keep seeing a picture of a little girl in my head. She’s beautiful, tangible, and has a deep sadness in her eyes. Her sadness wells up in big, silent tears that find their home in her eyelids. As she breathes, the tears slowly begin to crawl down her cheek, leaving a strong imprint of injustice on her face. Her face is stained with the tears of injustice. The tears of abandonment, and no one is there to wipe it clean. I just want to reach out and touch her. Comb her hair and teach her to laugh and play. I want to dig deep into her heart and bring light into that dark place. But when I close my eyes to reach, I just find my empty hand, vulnerable in mid air and the bitter taste of inadequacy dwelling in my heart. My mind is so full of images of little kids, but I can’t touch them. I can’t feel them. I can’t hold them. I can’t love them. They are too far off. The frustration, the anger, the internal turmoil.. Its just hard to bear.

It’s in this moment of intense weakness and hopelesness that I remember the words of Jesus, “(35) For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
[Matthew 25:35-40]

Every second of the day I have an opportunity to serve, love, listen, nurture, and selflessly give of myself. Am I found faithful in doing that? I can sit here and mope that I can’t be out caring for orphans all over the world, but am I truly ready to love the orphans? Am I steady in love today? I can’t sit here moping, thinking that one day everything will happen and I will be sitting with orphans and have all the capacity I need to love them. NO! It is in the mundane, the hiddenness, and in my weakness that I am being trained in love. It is here in the utter dullness that I am being truly tested.  If I am not faithful in loving someone well, when I am in the comfortable setting of my comfortable life, than how can I ever dare to imagine that I will be faithful in love when everything around me is foreign and ‘uncomfortable’?

This is my training ground; to be a servant hidden in my home. I want to learn as much as I can, glean from the wisdom of those older than me. I desire to be powerful weak so that all my vain strength will decrease. It is here, in my utter weakness, my utter vulnerability, my utter boredom, that I am being trained in the art of loving. Love is a grand thing.. and can only be mastered when we choose to give up ourselves for the sake of another.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “My heart aches something strange tonight.

  1. Desiree

    This is so provoking Mary. You are truly one who understands the meaning of loving well. You walk it out, you do it daily. Even though it may seem as though you mess up you are a living definition of the love of Jesus.

  2. ” Love is a grand thing.. and can only be mastered when we choose to give up ourselves for the sake of another.”

    Wonderfully and simply said.

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