sometimes it's about letting go of the walls we put up around our hearts.
i realized that today.
there are times that i can barely keep up with all the information i am coming to know because my heart can't seem to take it all in.
the faces of these children that surround us every day...they are beautiful and they are lovely and they hide such brokenness.
i think some of their scars reflect my own too clearly and it's easy to want to shy away.
i hid in one of the stalls of the restroom tonight, tried to suck in more air into lungs tight with grief and i tried to close my eyes against the din of the noise outside, but all i could see was their need.
there's that old chorus that we sang in our little baptist church growing up that has been swirling around my head lately, they will know we are christians by our love...
and i have felt inadequate.
because i know what that ache in the pit of the stomach feels like, i know the fear a child feels when tempers flare and fists fly.
and these children, they reach out everyday in small and innocent ways. i walk in and my belly is rubbed, my hands are held, my arms wrap around so many.
they are looking for someplace safe.
and i become fearful - what happens if i fail, if i don't give enough, if i say the wrong thing or overlook someone that needed to be seen?
and i can feel the walls starting to build, a "sure" protection against failure...
but knowing that i am a christian won't be what convinces these children and the young men and women, that Jesus loves them.
i need to let go of the thought that it's all about me and my ability to do this all correctly.
they will know the love of Jesus Christ when i let go of these walls and allow my life to be an open vessel for His love to pour out onto them - not so that i will win more souls for Jesus - but out of love and adoration for the One Who saved my soul out of my own sinful mess.
and maybe the key is found in that little passage in matthew,
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
Matthew 25:34-40 ESV
it's not about me,
and really, even though in a large part it is - it's not really even about them,
it's all about letting go of fear and pride and doing all of life and love and ministry as an act of worship to Jesus.
and those hands i hold and those precious children i hug close and the respect i give to those young men and women hiding wounds with a tough exterior - i am learning that to do all of that for them, i am doing it all to Him
and there are really no walls to erect after all...