Lately it seems like everywhere I look, there is brokenness. Broken promises, broken relationships, broken hearts, broken homes, broken lives, broken minds, broken people, broken Nations. So many people that I love seem to be living in constant pain. I observe from a distance as they suffer mentally, emotionally, physically, financially, relationally, and spiritually. Most of them are suffering as a result of their own choices; while others go through their day completely oblivious to the suffering that will inevitably come tomorrow as a result of the choices they make today. And then I look around the world and I see people suffering as a result of poverty, disease, war, destruction, and disaster. On any given day, the heaviness of it all can be absolutely overwhelming.
Overcome by the burden of this brokenness, I often find myself wanting to tune it all out…to ignore the suffering of others and focus solely on my space and my people. The temptation to “check out” and let people fend for themselves is real and sometimes it’s so hard to resist. The Enemy has a way of sneaking in and whispering his slimy lies:
“They brought this on themselves.”
“They get what they deserve.”
“You are not responsible to fix what you did not break.”
I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve had seasons where I’ve stood like a temper-tantruming toddler in the corner–fingers plugging my ears, eyes squinched shut, shouting and singing at the top of my lungs—drowning out the noises of the needy because somehow I’ve been deluded enough to believe his other lie that if I don’t see and hear it, it will cease to exist. My foolishly, fool-proof method works–but only for a very brief moment in time. Because when I open my eyes, unplug my ears, and quiet my voice I’m staring straight into the middle of the brokenness I was trying to escape. And now, instead of only bearing the burdens of the suffering, I’m also bearing the burden of my shame.
As a Christian I’m not called to apathy, indifference, or selfish disregard. These attitudes are sin–the outward signs of my rebellious heart. What I am called to requires something I do not possess, but that I must give to others, nevertheless. This paradox that seems so upside-down to the rest of the world is EXACTLY the thing that makes my Savior so breathtakingly gorgeous. He calls me to give what I do not possess because it requires to me humble myself and seek it from its Source. And, in return, He strengthens my faith, secures my hope, and proves to me (yet again) how incredibly able He is.
So when I can’t fix the broken, I turn to the only One who can. I get on my knees, plant my face on the ground, and begin to pour out my soul. Without fail, He lifts my burden for the broken and places it directly on His very own shoulders because they have always been strong enough to bear the burden, the broken, AND the beam of a Cross. These are the times that I dig deep into the recesses of my faith, cling tight as my Anchor holds me steady, and refuse to budge until He has heard my plea. I intercede for families and marriages, for addiction and disease, for hatred, despair, and all that the Enemy seeks to destroy. I pray His word over those who did not ask for my prayers. I fight to loosen the chains of those who are oblivious to their bondage. I lovingly apply my band-aids of hope, grace, compassion, and mercy to every wounded soul that He places in my path and then I wait patiently for them to turn to Him for the tourniquet that will bind their wounds and heal their hearts.
This is the best I can do to fix the broken.