Monday, August 31, 2015

Love Never Fails

I am not the healer. I am not responsible for healing. I am not required to forcibly bring another person to a version of wholeness, that I (in my own brokenness) "need" from for them. I choose to believe this as I repeat these thoughts as my mantra. I have had to learn to relinquish my false sense of achievement and control. There is freedom here - freedom for ME! I didn't realize how bound up (with a need to see the desired outcomes) that I had become in my own journey, while trying to help others walk towards healing! 

So much seems to be left unfinished  from my view. It takes a very conscious effort to trust that things are still happening when it is far beyond my line of sight. The stone-faced young lady tasted safety and it repelled her. Another young girl received love and chose to retreat back to the pimp's abuse instead. Still another baby girl found her "solace" in chaos and aloneness. A young woman twice her chronological-age, because she had needed to be, walked away on a frigid morning. She could not resist the beckoning of the streets for one. more. minute. 

I was plagued by so many questions and sleep evaded me. Why are there SO many girls who cannot "make it" in healthy environments? I am driven to my knees in complete desperation. Why do they, in their own way, say a giant "no thank you", to safety and relief? I beg the Lord for a balm to accept this. 

As I look to His Word, I'm drawn to I Corinthians 13:8. I read it searchingly...Love NEVER fails. "Ok."-I feel calmed by the newness in these words. "Ok. Ok...Love NEVER fails!" I meditate. Slowly, I repeat this aloud as though it is the first time I have heard it. "Love never fails!" It literally blossoms to life on the page in front of me in real time! I was looking searching for some deep algorithm from the Lord...a laborious and difficult solution that I was ABSOLUTELY willing to walk out for the good of these soul-weary, bound children; young women that I love with the depth of my own soul! But, instead He gently said: "Love never fails." It felt so airy and simple. Nothing like this struggle and striving that I had been chained by. I paused in deep thought: "if I love them well...with a pure love, it will not fail!" He promises this in His word! I will hold to this with all of the strength that is in me!

His yoke is easy! His burden is light! He gently taught me that none of the business of "making whole" is my responsibility - in fact, even if I wanted to, I couldn't accomplish this! Everything that needed to be done, was DONE on the cross those many years ago! I knew this, but I didn't REALIZE this! You see, it's not that I was bound to this works related burden because of some messianic complex. Rather, this daily trudging in my own strength came from knowing a joyous freedom that I so desperately want for these sweet girls! It came from becoming so myopic in my daily grind in the trenches with tormented children, that I had lost my way for a bit. I was focused on the chains and had stopped looking at the One who breaks EVERY chain! 

"Love NEVER fails", He said. He freed me from outcome-driven timelines with those three words! Love them well & it WILL NOT FAIL! I can do that! I can love these girls! That's the easy part! That is my sweet spot!  I constantly look for creative ways to lift their spirits and lavish them with words of life! I LOVE to surprise them with anything from a Starbucks in bed on a cold Saturday morning, to a piercing that they've begged for (relentlessly) for months! Just "love them"??? I can do that!! I can find ways to (as Dr. Purvis says) give them as many "yeses" as possible!

Those three words revolutionized my days! Love never fails! 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Asked and Answered

We quietly shuffled into the back row as the worship team was already belting out their praise. I fumbled as I laid my umbrella down and settled in. She sat at first. She doesn't easily trust people or environments. She always takes several minutes of (socially awkward) silence to evaluate each new experience to decide what her next move will be. As she watched, she relaxed. She observed the other thousands standing and she did the same. Suddenly came a familiar song and she grinned. Music knows no barriers. She enjoyed the rhythm and the energy in the room.

A child who, months earlier, had zero will to live. Her soul was weary and she had declared full surrender. She had given up. As I sat with her on the floor those many months ago, she lay in my arms damp from the emotionally draining mixture of sweat, vomit and tears. She let out sobs for hours that felt like minutes. When you TRULY stand on the brink with someone, all time and the demands of real-life cease to exist. She had given up, but she knew that I had not, and would not! She could't go on, but I could. I could carry her. I MUST carry her.

At the House of Providence, this is the business that we are in. This is what we've signed up for. We gladly walk into the paralyzing, awful, soul-stealing trauma that has arrested every part of these sweet children, and when they give up, we say: "that's ok, I've got it from here!" We BOLDLY walk inch-by-inch toward the finish line marked by healing, freedom and wholeness.

As the worship service drew to a close, the team of well-groomed singers and musicians gently transitioned into the old, and well-loved chorus, "Nothing But The Blood". I could hardly stand upright as I (only through my peripheral vision, so as not to distract her with my voyerism) watch her clumsily hold her hands high with tears streaking her soft cheeks. All I can make out is her loudly declaring in her best falsetto "What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus!" Asked and answered, dear one! Asked and answered!