Paradoxes

In the past few weeks, I have seen many beautiful things.  Unfortunately, also far too many ugly realities.  Unexpected pain and need.  Suffering beyond description.  Things I did not want to see.  But all of it is a reminder of the complexity of humanity and the brokenness of this world.  Uganda is a place of beauty and filth, of joy and pain, of life and death.  The paradox of it all is hitting me hard.  I feel more alive and connected to the earth than I have felt in a while.  And yet, I’m all torn up inside from the immensity of the need everywhere I go.  I am especially drawn to the children…those who have been abandoned, neglected, abused, starved, forced to work at an early age and denied their right to an education.  My heart aches for them.  I feel weak, unable and inadequate to bridge the gap between myself and the immensity of all this pain…but I am starting to realize that I don’t have to bridge this gap.  My responsibility right now is to simply be here, and trust that God will use me and will show me where I need to help and how to connect with these suffering people.

All of these experiences are causing a shift in my thinking, and I am struggling to let go of my questions and trust that God knows about each child’s story and He is the only one who can bring healing to this broken world.  Despite all my questions and my lack of faith, one thing that keeps pushing me forward is the voice deep in my heart saying “follow me.” In the words of Henri Nouwen, “Jesus promises a life in which we increasingly have to stretch our hands and be lead into places where we would rather not go.”

Beautiful Dawn
by the Wailin’ Jennys

Take me to the breaking of a beautiful dawn
Take me to the place where we came from
Take me to the end so I can see the start
There’s only one way to mend a broken heart

Take me to the place where I don’t feel so small
Take me where I don’t need to stand so tall
Take me to the edge so I can fall apart
There’s only one way to mend a broken heart

Take me where love is not for sale
Take me where our hearts are not so frail
Take me where the fire still owns it’s spark
There’s only one way to mend a broken heart

Teach me how to see when I close my eyes
Teach me to forgive and to apologize
Show me how to love in the darkest dark
There’s only one way to mend a broken heart

Take me where the angels are close on hand
Take me where the ocean meets the sky and the land
Show me to the wisdom of the evening star
There’s only one way to mend a broken heart

Take me to the place where I feel no shame
Take me where courage doesn’t need a name
Learning how to cry is the hardest part
There’s only one way to mend a broken heart

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2 responses to “Paradoxes

  1. Wow! May God give you strength and build your faith on your journey. This reminds me of Audio Adrenaline’s song: Hands and Feet.

    An image flashed across my tv screen
    Another broken heart comes in to view
    I saw the pain and I turned my back
    Why can’t I do the things I want to?
    I’m willing yet I’m so afraid
    You give me strength
    When I say
    Chorus:
    I want to be your hands
    I want to be your feet
    I’ll go where you send me
    I’ii go where you send me
    Repeat

    And I try, yeah I try
    To touch the world like
    You touched my life
    And I find my way
    To be your hands

    I’ve abandoned every selfish thought
    I’ve surrendered every thing I’ve got
    You can have everything I am
    And perfect everything
    I’m not I’m willing,
    I’m not afraid
    You give me strength when I say
    Chorus

    This is the lifetime I turned my back on you
    From now on, I’ll go so
    Send me where you want me to
    I finally have a mission
    I promise I’ll complete
    I don’t need excuses
    When I am your hands and feet

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