After a Saturday of visiting the beauty of NC at Linville Caverns and Grandfather Mtn. I was awed by God's creative powers. He could create the beauty of the mountains and the caverns and still he cares about me. I thought of Psalms 8:3-5 "When I consider your heavens, /the work of your fingers, /the moon and the stars, /which you have set in place, /4 what is man that you are mindful of him, /the son of man that you care for him? /5 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings /and crowned him with glory and honor."
As I was marveling at God's creativity, I was also thinking about church. There are many things that one can say is wrong with the church today. In my opinion one of the biggest is that we don't love like Jesus loved. Now you're thinking, "How can we do that? He was Jesus and I'm not." I don't have all the answers, but something that has worked in my life is to let God break my heart. If you do not let God break your heart, you will not be able to love as Jesus loved. In John we see Jesus weeping with Mary and Martha. He was weeping because of their pain and grief, not the death of their brother. His heart broke for them and then he gave them a miracle. I'll give you 3 personal examples to hopefully make my point a little clearer.
In high school, I went on a mission trip. We went to this youth camp that was attended by inner city kids. They were bussed from their house to this camp out in the country. They heard about Jesus and got to play in a safe and fun environment. A friend and I were the leaders of a cabin of 5 to 7 girls. One night after the service one of the girls went forward for prayer and I as her counselor went with her. She told me that sometimes her mom hit her with a tennis racket and asked me if that was normal because she didn't like it. That's what she was praying about. I don't think I said anything to her. I think I just hugged her and cried a lot. To this day it brings tears to my eyes. I didn't go on the mission trip for the purpose of having my heart broken. I just went to serve God. I don't think we can prepare for those moments when he breaks our heart.
In college, I studied abroad in Mexico. I taught English for a few weeks at a very small, very poor school. It was graduation time and the students who graduated had parties. One of my students also knew the family I was staying with, so we were all invited to her party. When I arrived at her house, I experienced 2 unforgettable things. I experienced a hospitality that was unlike anything before. I was fed until I was stuffed and regaled with stories by her grandfather. I was treated like a guest of honor. I also experienced poverty unlike anything I had ever seen. Their house had a dirt floor and wooden boards for walls. There were places in where the board had been broken and in those places there was cardboard covering it. There were 2 rooms separated by a curtain. They had a stove top, but no oven. There was no refrigerator or sink. I didn't see a restroom of any kind either. They had a tiny TV with the rabbit ear antennas. There was no sofa or living room type furniture. There was one large table with benches on either side. Once again God broke my heart. I was treated like a guest of honor by people of very humble means.
Another one was just yesterday in church. One of our music leaders sang a beautiful rendition of the Nicole C. Mullen song "One Touch". I thought of the uncertainty that so many of our graduates face. There were 2 in particular from my personal experience that I thought of. God broke my heart again for the agony that they are living in because they don't know how to trust in his plan. They see a life time of dead end jobs instead of the passion and adventure that God wants for them. They see classes that lead them to nowhere or at the very least to some place they may not enjoy instead of the career that will engage them and impassion them. How do I communicate to them that God wants so much more? I don't have the answers, but I know the one that does if they only trust, seek, and obey. How do I let them know it is a hard and scary road at times, but he is there with them every step of the way? Are my words enough? I don't know.
So here I am back where I started marveling at the love that God has for me and wanting to share it. I have to let God break my heart in order to do that. If I don't let him do that, I'll never love as Jesus did. And "If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing." (1 Corinthians 13:3)