Pain is something I'm wired to avoid. It's a reflex I have - get away fast. But I've asked God to let me see what he sees, feel what he feels...when I see the brokenness of others, whether it's anger, poverty, persecution, slavery, addiction, it physically moves me inside - a deep, twisting pain - and fuels a desire to touch the person. Ken's seen me struggle more times than not with engaging in a stranger's life. He's seen me ache as I identify with a mother's fear that raises her voice in frustration in front of a crowd and tears down a son. He's watched as I've stepped into the desire and embraced a total stranger to give her an encouraging word and remind her that the world doesn't have to dictate who her son is and whether or not she's failing because he's not measuring up.
Favored One, I don't choose when I write here. More times than not I'm writing in my journal instead. But I have to tell you that I read my own blog. I know - that's funny, but I'm encouraged by what is being written here. And its a great record of the things I need to be remembering. So today I'm being reminded that I'm not someone who will "settle." I have a longing to live into the "more" of who I can be. I'm not satisfied and I don't think I will be on this side of Heaven. Not because I have some image of great treasure and reward in Heaven. For me, the only thing I want is Jesus. To see him face to face. And though I walk with him, talk with him, and draw every ounce of strength and goodness from him - I'm not satisfied because I want to see him face to face. And I want him to smile on me and simply say that I loved well.
As for pain - whether it's present when I see the victims or when I look on the enemies (and who among us in not an enemy?) I'm reminded of what I chose long ago. I'm going to have to embrace the pain. I don't want to resist that which is inherent with the enlarging of my heart towards suffering. My instinct may be to move away from pain - but to love as God does will require moving into it instead.
"To the Only God~
who is able to keep us,
able to keep us from falling,
To the Only God~
be all glory and honor,
majesty and power,
for all ages now and forever more."
"And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen." 1 Peter 5:12