One of the scariest prayers in the world (ranking right up there with asking God for patience) is "Let me heart be broken by what breaks the heart of God." Asking your heart to be broken is not a fun thing, but it's where us Christ-followers need to be. Tonight I reflect back a month or so to where this prayer was answered for me.
I have tried many times to write about the time I spent in Africa. But it seems that every time I would start writing notes of people, places, and events, it came across as generic missionary report. So I decided that I would leave detailed accounts to team members with better writing skills than myself. (Like this one - see what I mean?) So instead of narratives, posts about Africa will be snapshots of my thoughts, prayers, and dreams that God has placed in my heart from there.
Which brings us to the title of this post. In the prayer for a broken heart, it can only happen when our heart meets the heart of Christ. A little community in a large city of east Africa is where that happened for me. I saw God's deep abiding love for those whom man has discarded, and he planted that love in me.
There have been many times, that I have felt God's presence: when I first came to Jesus for salvation...when worshipping him in church or quiet times...in the deep hurt of suddenly losing my sister to an accident and feeling his comfort...just when I obey him in my daily life. But it was an amazing thing to experience his love for children whom I didn't even know, and to feel his compassion for them welling up in my own heart. It was truly a place where I felt my heart meet his.
Make no mistake - God is working in the depths of Africa in ways we can't even imagine. I thought of this shortly after returning as I watched the movie Blood Diamond -- a movie that portrayed only a little of the deep need and desperation that exists there. Well, when Danny Archer (for those of you who've seen it, Leonardo DiCaprio's character) said, "Sometimes I wonder... will God ever forgive us for what we've done to each other? Then I look around and I realize... God left this place a long time ago.", I almost yelled at the screen, "YOU COULD NOT BE MORE WRONG!" That's what's awesome about our God -- anyplace the world thinks is God-forsaken is EXACTLY where he is. And he is there in all his glory.
As the Scripture says,
"Where can I flee from thy presence?...if I make my bed in Sheol, thou art there...if I say, 'surely the darkness will hide me...even the darkness is not dark to Thee." (Paslm 139:7-8,11-12)
Well, that's about as much as I can handle in one burst. I would like to leave you with a video I uploaded to youtube with pictures from our time. Many of you have seen it, but if you haven't, here it is. As you watch the slides, listen to what U2 has to say: Love...the love of Jesus through us...is what will rescue them.