Today I heard the voice of one who wept
In far off lands
Because of sin and misery,
And begged with outstretched hands
For one small lamp to light his dark.
Now fain I would have slept,
So stopped my ears, but in my heart
That sobbing voice still wept.
And then I heard the voice of one who
Counted not the cost,
But left His ivory palaces to seek and
Save the lost.
He said, “The sound of one who weeps
Is coming up to Me.
Dost thou forget that last command
Which I gave unto Thee,
To preach my Word to all the world?”
O, bitter be our shame!
Still hopeless millions walk the earth
Who never heard His Name,
And still the world spends lavishly
In every crowded mart,
And still the voice of Him who wept
Is sobbing in my heart!
-Martha Snell Nicholson
It is safe to say that God is wrecking my heart.
A week ago I saw a movie in West Hollywood. As I was leaving, I drove past a couple standing in the parking garage. The woman was sobbing, and the man was in her face, destroying her with his words. Can’t say I know the circumstances that led to this man’s anger, but intimidating a woman is never OK in my book. I wanted to slam him up against the wall of the parking garage. Sure, it wouldn’t exactly have been the most Christ-like action to take, but maybe it would have sent that man a message. I drove past, praying for the situation and wondering what action Jesus would have taken.
I continued to drive and reached Sunset Blvd just as a fight had started outside a club. A large group of people stood outside a restaurant watching as a few young men were filled with rage and going to war.
The other night I was invited to a new friends house for a movie. In the invitation he wrote that he would be willing to meet us at our cars and walk us to the apartment, so I figured it was somewhat of a rough neighborhood. I was a bit early, and also hungry so I drove around downtown LA looking for a restaurant. The streets were dimly lit and mostly empty. I turned left down a particular street and witnessed a scene that was to say the least, unnerving.
As it turns out, I was right smack dab in the middle of Skid Row. The sidewalks were littered with makeshift tents and people in sleeping bags and guarded shopping carts. I have been in some of the poorest of poor countries around the world, and visited some of the dirtiest slums, but even some of those shelters offered more than this street in downtown Los Angeles.
Today an ex-policeman is on the loose in California seeking to kill a targeted list of policemen and their families.
The integrity of our government is questionable.
There are more than 27 million worldwide enslaved through human trafficking, and the average age of a child sold in the sex trade is 11.
After traveling the world for 3 years, my heart is spinning from all the poverty and injustice that I witnessed first hand. This past month has also been a whirlwind of hearing horrible stories on the news happening nationwide and witnessing terrible scenes on the streets of LA.
While I am more than eager to lend my time and resources and passion and love, my effectiveness is hindered by consequences of a former life lived apart from God. Nearly three years of drunkenness throughout college left me with thousands of dollars of student loan debts (and no diploma). I look forward to the day when I am no longer enslaved to these debts.
Dave Hearn is a leader at the G42 Leadership Academy in Mijas, Spain, and author behind the blog Warrior Shepherd. He recently wrote a blog about How to Write a Vision Statement. After reading his blog, I started to think about what the vision statement of my life would be. What I have so far is a bit wordy and needs to be cleaned up, but check it out:
To be blessed financially so to freely lend time and resources to the impoverished and enslaved. To encourage people to pursue a relationship with the King of Kings, Jesus Christ, and receive from Him a life of freedom, joy, peace, passion and creativity. To be a voice promoting the mobilization of the church, to fight for the orphan, the slave, the hungry and the thirsty.
My focus moving forward is to develop sources of income to pay off all my debts and bring me freedom to fully lend myself to the causes Jesus illuminates on my heart. While for now my influence is hindered due to lack of financial freedom, I still have a pretty powerful prayer I can send forth when it comes to all these issues:
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”