Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Where Brokenness and Joy Collide

This past week has been kind of surreal in a way. It is an interesting thing when brokenness and true joy collide. Even the skies have been dark a lot, making it all the more beautiful when the sun shines through.

This week, we have felt brokenness in a number of ways:

Death. Whether it has been death of a loved one, friend, or family member, our team this summer has felt the brokenness that death brings especially this week. Brokenness for ones left behind. The sting of death can be bitter but strangely sweet when it is a brother who is now dancing at the feet of the one his soul loves. This is where brokenness and joy have a strange collision.

Sickness. Lanie and I visited our friend Amanda again yesterday. We try to visit her at least once a week, if not more. This time we brought her some groceries, as is custom in her culture. Once again, she had had a hard day with her very sick and frail mother the day before. Our Father is sweet in his timing. Our very presence in her home blesses her and teaches us so much. However, deep brokenness is felt. She lacks the hope in Truth that we have. She is exhausted. Our heart grows to lover her more and more every time we are with her, but it is also more  broken for her each time.  This is where brokenness and joy collide. 

Lost. A third way we have really felt brokenness this week is through the burden for our friends that are lost and looking for Truth. We long so badly for our friends to share with us in our hope. The fact that they do not causes our hearts to feel deep brokenness. However, we rejoice in the hope we do have and our constant, faithful Father. This is where brokenness and joy collide.

I am challenged by the reflections of Milton Vincent:

Like nothing else could ever do, the gospel instills in me a heart for the downcast, the poverty-stricken, and those in need of physical mercies, especially when such persons are of the household of faith.

When I see persons who are materially poor, I instantly feel a kinship with them, for they are physically what I was spiritually when my heart was closed to Christ...

The gospel reminds me daily of the spiritual poverty into which I was born and also of the staggering generosity of Christ towards me. Such reminders instill in me both a felt connection to the poor and a desire to show them the same generosity that has been lavished on me. When ministering to the poor with these motivations, I not only preach the gospel to them through word and deed, but I reenact the gospel to my own benefit as well."

Please continue to pray for us as we finish up our time here. We will feel brokenness in leaving these dear ones we have come to know.