Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Hearts of Flesh

WARNING: The pictures displayed at the end of this posting are graphic in nature.

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

I am undone.

I received a link to a CBS news story today from a fellow adoptive parent and dutifully double-clicked on it, fully expecting to be discouraged once again at the plight of the orphan. It is so disheartening at times. I steeled my emotions, feeling as if I must read this article...after all, Larry and I lead our orphan ministry at church and we try to stay informed and current so that our ministry is relevant.

Through the years I have had seasons when my emotions are numb... it is difficult for me to cry or be moved. Sometimes it is a result of my depression. Sometimes it is simply a spiritual dry time. Sometimes it is protection. Eventually I will tire of being anesthetized and I will reach for my Bible, fervently looking for the aged-yellow highlight marking the scriptures that speak of hearts of stone turning to hearts of flesh. I turn the phrases over and over in my heart and mind and pray them as a petition...Lord, let me feel again.

I've heard it said that there are "dangerous" prayers. Perhaps begging for a heart of flesh could be considered unsafe but I've learned that opening myself up for something wild usually ignites a renewed passion for the Gospel and fervor for participating in redemption. So, even though it usually takes some time for me to come around, I will wind up on my knees, pleading for that tender, responsive, fleshy, red-blooded and broken heart.

I have spent the last few weeks battling my depression...well, not battling... more like wasting away in my depression. Our lives are in transition and I'm finding myself lonely yet never alone. I can't find a rhythm and I've felt frayed on the edges, on the verge of feeling too much but not wanting to lose control.

This morning as I double-clicked on the news link, I was unprepared for God to show up. I was not "ready". I mean, I hadn't prayed my "heart of flesh" prayer yet. But God, and thankfully not I, is sovereign and He decided it was time.

My God gave me, and (I am so thankful for this) Larry also, a passion for the fatherless years ago. He uses this to awaken me to the Gospel on a regular basis and He did it again this morning. My heart is breaking for the things that break His heart. I am yearning for the day when His Kingdom comes here on earth as it is heaven. I want to be fully aware and fully alive and fully participate in this beautiful mess. I want to see the Spirit move with His sovereign plan and I want to see justice for these children.


shell said...

my heart is just broken today. i cannot get them out of my head. i am thankful for others that share the same heart-GOD heart!

laura said...

Thank you Melissa for sharing this on your blog and reminding all of us of the heart of our Father. My heart is also broken.