"Love is not free. People who love are vulnerable- they give a piece of themselves away to someone else. It's a worthy donation- but still painful at times. Love is always worth the sacrifice and the risk."
Luke 7:32 says "They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other: We played the flute for you and you did not dance; we sang a dirge and you did not cry.
I never before understood these verses. They confused me. But lately as I have been struggling through various sickness and ailments my heart has been inclined to an interesting thought about them: many people in our generation are numb..
The Bible warns us much about the End Times and how the people of the last days will be asleep (the Laodicean church). The Laodiceans will be lukewarm- not passionately devoted to God yet still claiming to follow His ways. I believe that Jesus is coming soon and we are the Laodicean church- I believe that we are sleeping- and often numb to emotions and reality.
Many Americans no longer cry- it has become a feminine thing for men to cry and even many girls these days don't cry. Many Americans watch horror movies- and they have no affect on them. Movies full of violence, shooting, and suffering- yet we don't seem to care- because we've seen it before.
We see so many charities asking for different donations- yet to most of them we simply walk away- because we've seen so many statistics about children dying already, we've watched the movies and seen the pictures of hungry children in Africa, we've heard about all the third world problems too much already- and we're numb to it. We feel like we've seen it all, we feel like we know it.. and instead of living in it or trying to comprehend it.. we close our eyes.
We have a wound and we have many ailments today, yet many of us are choosing not to deal with it. We're choosing to close our eyes and not think about the people hurting around us and the needs facing most of the world. Our feelings have been numbed- so that things don't hurt us so much. Yet as well as our feelings have been shortened and depth of them stolen- our love for each other has been worn down. Our love has been shattered to a noncaring, comfortable complacency and the genuine care and emotion has far too often been abandoned on the sidelines. Often we no longer feel the need to do anything to help others hurting around us. We don't accept the responsibility to help others. We look away and often whisper in our hearts "I hope someone else helps them."
Serving as a missionary here in Pucallpa, this is what I've been learning. I've been learning that I created walls around my heart. Every time I was hurt, I received a wound and for every wound that was received I let most of my wounds scab- creating a protection from the outside harm and trying to protect myself from being hurt again. I'm learning that I am far too numb to sufferings and calamities that are a reality to millions daily.
I believe that we've all created walls similar to scabs around our hearts from things that have hurt us. Maybe a boyfriend or girlfriend that broke us, a family member that suffered an illness, a statistic that broke our heart, a child that made us cry.. There's nothing wrong with these wounds. Yet we cannot let them make us numb. Christ Jesus wants to expose all of our wounds to the light. He wants to open our hearts and destroy all of the scars this world has made in us. He wants to take them away- and that will be a painful process- but He wants to create in us beautiful, loving hearts like His own. Hearts that feel suffering as the one who suffers. Hearts that genuinely care and genuinely love, and are willing to risk themselves for others. Hearts that have true compassion and the desire to move and make the world better for someone else.
Here in Peru, God is opening and remaking my heart and I'm so thankful. Because of some of my sufferings here, I'm able to see what most of the world suffers through daily and often. Most of the world experiences hunger pains, diseases, illnesses, malaria, yellow fever, aids... yet most of my life I have been protected from these sicknesses (praise God). But here I've prayed that God open my eyes to the things He sees and breaks my heart for the things that break His.. and slowly God is doing that in me. I don't believe God wants me to be sick- and I have faith that He will be healing me very soon. Yet what I am grateful too is that this year God is giving me glimpses of what life is like for many people in third world countries and opening my eyes to some of their sufferings.
For me to be able to love like God, my heart has to be opened. The wound has to be an open flesh wound that is healed by Christ Jesus and Him alone. If I have walls I can't love as strongly.When I am vulnerable, that is when I can truly give and sacrifice my all to another being attempting to portray to them what Jesus Christ did for me in Calvary.
I want God to create in me a new and purified heart that sees others the way He sees them. I want God to love me so much so that I can show others a love that pierces to the inmost of their beings and shows them their worth in Christ. I want God to change me and destroy all my selfishness from within- remaking me into someone compassionate and self-sacrificing.
I pray that you desire the same from your God and that God opens your eyes so that you can see yourself in His image and others thru His eyes of love and compassion.
**Side note on my current health:
I am struggling with a hand problem/ infection currently. I was sick all this past last week with cold-like symptoms but most of the sickness went away and a rash developed on one of my hands. Now (5 days later) both of my hands are discolored and have bumps and 2 blisters. There is some kind of serious infection going on or intense allergic response. Yesterday I was taken to a clinic for 3 different blood tests. The results from the first 2 are normal and I will receive the third result Saturday evening. I received a shot last night to help reduce the swelling and inflammation and the doctor also drained my blisters. Based on the medication I am currently taking, my hands are a little less swolen and seem to be getting a little bit better. Please pray that my hands continue to get better and the infection goes away quickly.