My heart break started with the man on the street. He was so stoned he could hardly stand.His eyes were rolling back in his head and he nearly fell on me twice. Josh and I were just looking to get a snack when this man interrupted our evening. All we could make of what he was saying was “Call my father? A Euro please, to call my father.” There was nothing we could do for him and my heart sank. I wanted so badly for him to know his worth – to make him know how loved he was, but I couldn’t even do that.
Not many days after this encounter, I found myself at a park filled with people in the same situation. As we arrived, I was accosted by the smell of meth. I looked around and saw people, young and old, shoving needles into their arms and hovering over small open flames making crack pipes out of broken light bulbs. It took me a moment to process what I was seeing. Behind the park is a small wooded area where there are literally hundreds more doing the very same thing, all of them shooting up to mask the pain of hopelessness.
I began to walk through the park with my teammates, Amy and Josh, handing out pamphlets with information for the rehab center where we live. As we walked, I saw a young woman, maybe 20, and I felt tears begin to form. I could see where her life was headed. I had been to the brothels that so many like her could be found. I longed to take her far from this place, to rescue her from it all, but I couldn’t. Only the power of the living God can do that.
As we moved through the scene, I came upon a boy that couldn’t have been older than fifteen. The weight of what this boy would face sunk in and the reality that he was not the only young one I had seen wouldn’t release me. My heart shattered at the sight of another young boy helping an old man make crack pipes to make a little money.
We soon came upon a woman named Jennifer*. I was drawn to her immediately and began to talk to her. The communication was difficult, language being the ever present barrier between me and the ones I long to love. I eventually asked if we could pray with her and she said yes, we could. As I prayed, I could feel the heart of God toward this daughter of His so lost in brokenness and it was overwhelming love. Holy Spirit gave us insight in how to pray for her with words of knowledge and I believe her heart was touched by His love.
I am convinced, now more than ever, that Jesus is in these darkest of places.
He roams the hearts of the broken and hopeless, begging to be seen.
The question is, will He ever be seen there? How can the least of these, bound in utter darkness, ever see the love of Jesus if His Body chooses to close a blind eye? We must go to them. We are the ones He chose to send to the broken, to the hopeless, to the lost. We have to choose to let our hearts be broken over the sin of the world that inevitably leads to death.
We were created as pure beings, meant to commune with a holy God. As we were created for holiness, which leads to life, sin leads to our death. This is why we, as the reconciled, have been given the ministry of reconciliation. We are to bring the world around us back into its original design, to restore people to their original purpose, and bring life where death reigns. Let us no longer turn our eyes from death, but choose to enter it for we carry Life Himself.