I will always remember that day, your curly hair as wild and unruly as your heart.
A heart that was never created to carry the scars and bruises that have been left by the harsh angry hands of those around you. Hands that once held so much purpose and beauty, yet forced to be used as an outlet for the anger to express itself. Hands that are responsible for that discoloration on your face and the fear that I see within your eyes. Hands that have taken advantage of your small and frail body.
I remember sitting on the dirt step, all the kids immediately drawn to the love inside of me. You were the first to sit on my lap, your body weighing little to nothing because of the lack of consistency in your meals. I could feel the anger arising within my heart as I watched your family and relatives sitting nearby. They sat lifeless, not a sign of hope could be found within their hearts. The smoke rising from their lips disappeared into the air in the same way that their purpose within had so evidently dissolved into nothing.
Their hearts hard and distant, a response to the violence that surrounds this place. There is no room for hope to bloom where defeat and sorrow have already managed to grown deep roots. For what is the point of dreaming when the fire of a gunshot silences your dreams and every day you are reminded that your voice is meaningless? The harsh reality sets in, the jagged pieces of glass scattered on the ground are a reflection and reminder that brokenness has found a home here. A brokenness that scares most people because of the jagged edges and the hurt that it often causes even when it is approached by the hands of love.
My heartbreaks for you, all I want is for you to know love and for your heart to feel safe. I wish I could freeze this moment and hold you forever, to show you that love exists and that God sees you. Yet I feel helpless, another person who can only love you for a day because I have to return to my own home.
I remember leaving you, the heaviness growing in my heart. The frustration of the injustice and my inability to respond to the cry of your heart.
I remember sitting on the street outside of the base where I was staying, wrestling with the weight of the brokenness and the lack of willingness of those around me to be the ones that sit with the hearts that are weeping.
We are quick to offer our sympathy, a kind word that gives momentary solace from the harshness of this world. We often walk with our eyes closed as we trample over the small flowers of hope that have been planted in those around us, refusing to even acknowledge their existence. Time moves on, our checklists complete we feel good about ourselves.
Yet I cant help but think there is something more. When will we awaken from this slumber that has convinced us to hide behind walls and to turn our back in order to silence the hearts of those crying out for freedom?
Have we forgotten that you cannot silence injustice, for it leaves trails of chaos and pain in its wake as it destroys the beauty within so many hearts. What if we stopped making excuses and began to fight for those around us as we realized that within each and every one of our hearts is a key that has the ability to spark life. We so easily let our excuses minimize the heartache and trauma that others have walked through. It is convenient for us to try and silence their pleas so that we can continue to move forward in our own lives. Yet we forget that loving Jesus means saying yes to being interrupted.
I am learning slowly to view those interruptions as an invitation to be the hands that heal and the matches that spark a fire of revival. Our willingness to respond in love is paving the way for hope to take root.
For love isn’t always going to be the easy and convenient road to travel. More often then not it is illogical and messy because our hearts were never intended to be confined by the standards society places upon us. It is our job to be the love that creates that space for other hearts to thrive.
We are all created to bloom freely and to grow without restraint, yet this world so quickly diminishes our true potential and plants lies within our hearts. We so often miss the invitation to extend love because we are to busy hiding behind our insecurities and fears.
What if it became less about the competition and our insecurities and more about speaking life? What would it look like to invite others into our lives instead of viewing their brokenness and hurt as an interruption in our day?
I am fully convinced that the more we begin to let love bloom in our own hearts the more we are willing to call out the love in those around us.
It is time for us to start being people that make love a priority and not an option, for we are all meant to call out the beautiful flowers that have been planted in the hearts around us. Its time to use our hearts and hands as tools to plant hope as we inspire growth as let God use us to be a representation of his love.