Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Orphans, Kingdoms.

I've been asking a lot of questions of myself lately.
Questions about how to balance the life of privilege that I have, with the life that I am seeing around me day by day.

Tent cities that collapse under wind and torrential downpours leaving hundreds without shelter.
10-year olds who can't say the first few letters of the alphabet, and parents who prompt them with the wrong answers.
Parents who have no other choice than to abandon their year-old babies at the clinic unknown to what will become of them, than to carry them home to poverty.
An earthquake that stole parents away from their daughters and sons, and daughters and sons away from their parents. Unfathomable loss.

How do I live my life with blessings that seep out around me everywhere when I am confronted with the harsh reality of these friends of mine?
The smile I wear on my face as I encounter these people who are suffering isn't real tonight.
I just don't know where the line between pouring out and being poured into is anymore.
The worst part about it is that I feel like I've earned this life - that I somehow deserve this comfort. And yet it's nothing, absolutely NOTHING but the grace of God that I'm not sleeping alone on a muddy floor under a frayed blue tarp of protection with an empty stomach.

I've been listening to a song lately that has echoed this struggle in my heart and mind, as well as offered a peace in truth about where to go from here.

In me, in you...
Loneliness. Desperation. Disease. Hunger. Thirst. Brokenness. Abandonment. Heartache.

In me, in you...
Beauty. Life. Joy. Laughter. Faith. Peace. Friendship. Harmony. Understanding. Hope.

I think I need to open up my box-like concept of us being either one or the other.
What may appear to be a division of wealth and poverty - kingdom and orphan, is instead a meshing. Where those in the kingdom suffer with doubt and discontentment and search for something greater, while the orphans thrive with child-like faith and love without bounds and resiliency.

The emotions in both categories have been each of one of our songs at one point or another.
Every life dips and climbs between heartache and celebration. In this world, there is sadness that pulls us down to the depths of despair and rejoicing that lifts up to the heights of heaven. From the cheer of a baby's first cry to the weeping of a goodbye that came too soon. There is a time for everything.

What I am wrestling with tonight is heartache and injustice that clouds over optimism. How can I bring a kingdom and everything that goes with it, into the lives of the friends who have lost it all?
But maybe my question needs to be rephrased to - Where is the kingdom in the lives of these people?

It says in 2 Timothy chapter 11:
If we die with Him, we will also live with Him.
If we endure, we will reign with Him.
If we deny Him, He also will deny us.
If we are unfaithful, He will still be faithful, because He cannot deny Himself.

The last line of this verse is such a promise to cling to.
A promise of God's character and sovereignty far beyond anything in the grasp of our control. When I see the pain around me and the questions flood in and my rationale fails by the wayside, and I just can't.
He is still faithful.
Not because He should be. But because He simply is.
Can that be enough?
It must be.

A few weeks ago I rewound a podcast to hear a line of truth repeated that has stuck with me ever since ~ The moment of despair is the moment of hope.

... And the song plays on....
We are wondering where the Wild Wind blows,
We are happy here cause the Wild Wind knows what we are,
Orphans, Kingdoms.

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