Most of us live in a rather sheltered and comfortable community, and sometimes it can be easy to hear intensely difficult stories and think, “That is so foreign to me. I can not relate at all.” And maybe we write it off because we didn’t find it relative to us, or maybe we glaze over it because we don’t want to hear those kinds of things and expose ourselves to that level of hurt and pain. We want to protect ourselves from the heavy, dark and painful things in this world.
Well, I want to speak into that self-protective tendency in us all. Cause I can do the same thing, especially when my own life is feeling pretty heavy. However, I have a unique perspective on this, because I actually have one of those intense stories as my own story. It has often been difficult for others to hear. It makes them face the evil that exists in this world. An evil that I never had a choice in knowing about.
I’ve always been fearful of sharing my story. Afraid of being “too much” for others and causing them pain. There were many years that I suffered in silent pain, trying to find my way through it on my own. Which, I’ll just say, has greatly increased the difficulty of the journey toward healing, and I felt incredibly alone.
I have never sat down and told someone my story in full. I would always test the waters. I would grow to trust someone, and sometimes through a battle over silence and trying to reclaim a voice that had been stolen, I would tell them a piece of my heartbreak. If that didn’t scare them off, I might tell them another piece a while later. There were some occasions that as I shared more of my story and revealed more of my brokenness, it became too much. There were some relationships that were lost and others have been greatly tested. And that enemy of ours never misses an opportunity to remind me of lies he told me long ago…You are too much for people; you are a burden; those things that happened, they will forever mark you; you are not really lovable; you are not worthy; You. Are. WORTHLESS; no one will care for you.
You see, when we protect ourselves by remaining naïve to and unengaged with the intense pain and suffering in our world, we are leaving the broken and wounded, whom God has called us to love, alone and feeling isolated, less than, and even unloved. We are reinforcing all of the lies that the enemy has been telling them. Our uninvolvement is not a passive action. God calls us to love these people. He calls us to speak truth and words of life over them. How can we be His hands and speak His love and truth to the brokenhearted when we choose not to see their broken hearts?
“Our uninvolvement is not a passive action.”
Intense suffering is a reality in our world. Will you choose to rely on the Lord to be your strength as you open your eyes to it? God has not called only those people that we perceive as strong to care for the brokenhearted or the abused, forgotten, neglected. He calls us ALL to love the way He loves, to grieve with those who grieve, to mourn with those who mourn, to speak hope back into the hopeless.
Will we be willing to become uncomfortable in order to love those who need it the most? Will we be willing to familiarize ourselves with the brokenness in our world by taking off the blinders, so that we will recognize the brokenhearted among us? Will we trust God to show up for them and for us so that we will not be fearful of them?
God can give us the strength and spiritual/emotional/mental sustenance to not be consumed by despair. Because He doesn’t ask us to absorb their pain and grief and burdens. He just calls us to love them through it and to represent the One who can heal them and redeem it all. We do not have to fix anything. We can’t. Only He can, and He will.