On the ESV Study Bible website they have reading plans. I imported the Book of Common Prayer Daily Office Lectionary into my calendar. It contains various prayers in scriptures each day. One of the prayers was very fitting with where my heart is at this morning.
As you know, I moved to S. Dallas about a month ago. I am surprised by how much this move has affected me. Everything is different. I feel like I am in a completely different culture (because I am!). Sights are different, sounds are different, even smells are different. I have noticed that it has been hard for me to look brokenness in the eye. Something in me hurts when I see a homeless person passed out at a bus stop at 8am in the 100 degree morning. I cringe and a deep discontentment rises up in me when I see a man who looks probably 15 years older than he really is hobble across a busy highway with a warped and damaged leg. I feel helpless when I am approached for money or other resources. Every day I see something new. This morning I felt punched in the gut when I pulled up to a stoplight right near my work. It’s 9am and already 90 degrees. Standing in the median was a minority woman and her son. She was obese and had a walker. I am sure she couldn’t have been much past her late 20s, if at all. Her son was in his teens and dressed nicely. He was standing on guard of her as they were about to cross the street. Who knows where they came from and where they were going. I couldn’t help but think of the shame this boy felt. I could see it in his eyes. It’s not up to me to say what a teenage boy’s life should look like. It’s not up to me to say that these people feel like they have it bad. I could still be adjusting to what life looks like outside of middle class America. But none the less, something inside of me felt broken for them. Life doesn’t seem easy for them. I don’t think like will look that way when Christ returns and we are living on the new earth.
I walk into work now and am coordinating trips for groups and churches to travel internationally to invest in our community development programs. Why? Because there is brokenness in these communities. People go because there are things that are worth investing in and making better. I have faces on my phone and on my walls in my office that display a need. Emails flood in each day because of the brokenness throughout this world. I am on sensory overload of the brokenness to say the least!
What do I do? Do I disconnect? Do I run to N. Dallas where I feel comfortable? Do I zone out to my favorite movie? Do I go on vacation to “get away?” Do I engage and hope God gives me rest? Do I give hand outs? Do I stop and engage? Whatever I chose to do, will it really help? What would it look like if Jesus lived my life? How did he interact with the brokenness of the world? How does he interact with the brokenness now?
It’s almost like a movie scene where a girl is standing in the middle of Time Square and everything around her is moving fast while she stands still. What do I do? How do I help? What is God doing and how will He vindicate? How do I allow myself to feel when all I want to do is ignore? How can I embrace what is around me and preach the Gospel when there seems to be such a disconnect?
Although I don’t have the answers and some of my questions are in regards to God, I still have a trust and faith and base line understanding of God’s basic character. He is good. He is just. He is loving. He does not lie. He is wise. He is generous. It is also important for me to understand that these descriptors have to be defined biblically. For instance, sometimes the things God allows, does, doesn’t do is out of His love…even if it doesn’t “feel” loving at the time.
So as I know God is the answer, even though I don’t know how, I want to cry out to him. I want to bring all of these things before him. As I opened up the prayers from the lectionary today Psalm 82 was one of them. It is a prayer for the weak and needy! Praise God for His scripture and how alive it is! Please pray with me!
1 God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment: 2 “How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Selah 3 Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. 4 Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” 5 They have neither knowledge nor understanding, they walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken. 6 I said, “You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you; 7 nevertheless, like men you shall die, and fall like any prince.”  8 Arise, O God, judge the earth; for you shall inherit all the nations!