It was the strangest, most desperate feeling.
"I'm not going to hurt you." Over and over. "No one is going to hurt you here."
I could see that she did not believe me.
Some days I want to give up.
Awhile ago, in my own pain, I was asking God for answers. And he kept answering me the same way, with the same words from Isaiah 61.
"The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion-- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor."
When Jesus tells the people what He's about in Luke chapter 4, that is what he tells them. Those words.
They have been important words to me before, when I was asking who God was, and what he was doing.
They are a lifeline, now, as I join in carrying the pain of others. Asking with them, or more often, for them, who God is and what he is doing.
I hesitated while typing "carrying the pain of others." How very codependent. How very over-responsible. How very exactly what I am trying to figure out how to do. It is precisely the struggle of my particular humanness. I can't believe that I am to do nothing, to take on none of it, to be indifferent or unaffected. But, how am I to bear it? What can I even do? It's crushing and I feel crushed.
My friend Marcia was leading worship at church a couple weeks ago. She sang one of my favorite songs. The bridge of the song is, "Take my life, take all that I have. With all that I am, I will love you. Take my heart take all that I am. Jesus, how I adore you." And as her beautiful voice led me, the Spirit joined me, and I lifted my hands and surrendered and confessed.
I confessed that I forget sometimes that the deep desire to bind up, to proclaim freedom, to release from darkness, to comfort, to bring beauty joy and praise, that desire does not originate in me. I didn't come up with it on my own. Therefore, I am not equipped to do it on my own either. I confessed that it is easy for me to think that God is a tool of mine. He is my gift to give people. My solution to a problem I am fixing.
I surrendered to Him, because it is quite the other way around. The desire, planted in my heart, is His and He planted it there. I am a tool of HIS. I am a gift HE gives. I am a small part of a solution to a problem HE is fixing. A wound HE is healing. A fight HE is fighting. Has fought. Has won.
Ah, yes. My God is for the brokenhearted! Take my heart, take all that I am, with all that I am, I will join.
I prayed it as I looked into her eyes.
He is for our broken hearts.
"Come Lord Jesus," on repeat.