Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My Heart's Cry

    Most of the time I open my newspaper or watch the news and comfort myself that I am insulated from the struggles or heartache of those whose names and faces are unknown to me. I often find myself thinking, "I am so grateful that I am not the one in this or that situation." How supercilious of me. I wish that I could say that I frequently pray before I fold my paper to move on to the next task at hand, but sadly, it is not so. The vast majority of the time I am just too comfortable in my well-insulated temperature controlled cocoon of a life to be pierced to the core or deeply troubled by what I read or what I see. Not so with Haiti. I wake up in the morning with a prayer on my lips and when I go to bed at night I cannot stop thinking about her people and the suffering. I, who can fall asleep before my husband can complete a sentence, find myself tossing and turning through the watches of the night. It is Haiti that is calling to me. It is Haiti that makes me cry out. It is Haiti who is ruining my sleep and forcing me to re-examine my love affair with my comfortable life. 
     I do not know whether to be happy or sad that I cannot get this tiny country and her people out of my mind. I keep having this weird feeling that I had when my children were away from me, and I was convinced that they were in danger or harm. I knew then that the Lord was calling me to pray (what else can a mother do when her children are possibly under seige and out of the reach of a telephone?) And so I pray. I do not know the names of those who are at this moment crying out to the Lord in desperation for mercy, or peace, or help, or freedom from the crushing weight of loss that seems to have no end. I do not know their names, but I know the one who does. He calls himself faithful, and I can honestly say that I believe He is who He says He is. I believe He has not turned aside His head nor forgotten a single one of His precious sheep. He is not asleep. He has not left the throne room unattended. He sees. He hears. He understands. He knows. He went to the cross, the grave and the skies for such as these. And His power and might are great. I am humbled to know that He loves his children who are there every bit as much as He loves me. He longs to gather the mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters and little ones to Himself like a mother gathers her chicks. He is calling out their names. 
    Like so many others before me, I have given money out of the great bounty and ease that I have been given, but with each passing day, I become more convinced that prayer is the true and lasting gift I am called to give. Will you join with me as the cry goes up before the throne of the Lamb Who Was Slain for you, for me, and for them? 
   Our Savior says that our prayers matter and that the prayer of a righteous man availeth much. I do not have any righteousness of my own to commend myself to Him, but He has gladly traded my sinful soul and imparted his magnificent righteousness to cover my unworthiness. It is almost incomprehensible, yet true. It is why I can run to His throne room day and night and have confidence that the King of the Universe hears my smallest prayer. I am thanking him right now for Haiti and the fact that He has used this tiny land to shake me out of my shameful complacency. I truly want to be different today, and tomorrow, and the day after that. I want to pour out my heart for the people of this tiny country and pray that as I pray that the Lord will somehow not only answer their cry, but He will change me. 

  "What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like." -Saint Augustine

Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my sighing.
Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray.
In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice,
in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.
You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil; with you the wicked cannot dwell.
The arrogant cannot stand in your presence; you hate all who do wrong.
You destroy those who tell lies; bloodthirsty and deceitful men the Lord abhors.
But I, by your great mercy, will come into your house;
in reverence I will bow down toward your holy temple.
Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness because of my enemies -- make straight your way before me...
 But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them, those those who love your name may rejoice in you.
For surely, O Lord, you bless the righteous; 
you surround them with your favor as with a shield.
Psalm 5:1-8; 11-12


  1. Thank you, Kathy. I too have been waking and as I lie waiting for sleep am thinking of mothers searching for children, children searching for anyone familiar, fathers feeling helpless to solve anything. I lift them up and know that the Holy Spirit will intervene with what I don't know. And that the prayers are strengthening them and me. I've been reminded of my own sins of complacency, lack of compassion, apathy, and selfishness.

    Oh, Lord, quickly come.

  2. Amen Sister. Thank you for your words. I want to be part of the army, seen and unseen, standing and crying out before the throne of grace for these precious ones.

  3. You express this so beautifully. Thank you for putting this heart cry into words. Makes me think of Psalm 42, "Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me."
    Praying with you, sister.


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