When was last time that you felt the rest of a creation groaning under the weight of injustice and evil?
When was last time that you felt the density of injustice fly across oceans to your heart?
When was last time that you felt the density of evil choked up to your throat and nostrils, and that you deseparately try to find a breathing gap to inhale violently until who knows when I could breathe normal again, or laugh voraciously again?
When was last time that you are utterly believing in your faith and showing in your action that you would fear no evil? I am very much trained to either fear evil or trivialize it for the most part of my life. I must say, that fear I learned in the church. It is there we learn to fear our sinful nature. It is there we fear those who may threaten or harm us or our families. The most ridiculous fear I have let to be cultivated is fear of failure. In a culture governed by management ideals, top 10 business principles, pragramtic strategies for success, a williness to live faithfully and fearlessly before God no matter what the circumstances, costs or outcomes is also unimaginably challenging!!
I must admit I feel the taste of failure when I intercede for these children that come to me in my prayers and in my dreams, in my email inbox and in a friend’s blog, in my dinner conversations and in my powerpoint presentations. Since a very very long time, I have not felt that fear looming so large that grips my throat like you find a strand of hair got stuck inside. You can feel that one little strand wrapping and looping around your throat. You stick your finger in, you can’t get rid of it, all the more you only hurt yourself by disturbing its vulnerabilities.
In the midst of all these I receive this line of encouragement, “It’s not our task to secure the triumph of truth, but merely to fight on its behalf.”
I am asking myself in return, “Am I fighting hard enough on its behalf? Am I fighting at all on behalf of these children? When I look at Heather and Lilias, I know that I know that I know that I know that I know THAT I KNOW I am learning to love them with such love that knows no bound. Such love is not diminished, not sidetracked, not tamed, not domesticated. Yet I am still learning how to love like that. Of course my love for them is not perfect, sometimes it does know bound. I am not proud of myself for it. Yet the love of my sweet Lord Jesus compels me to learn how to love that would rush me to the defense of my children in a split second’s notice.
It comes to me even more powerful when such intensity and breath-chokingly love meet the fear and hollow of those big dark eyes that stare right through my 27″ iMac screen. They are relatively bigger, darker, hollower. My heart stops beating. My heart feels the counter-current of its blood flow. I am nervous sitting in front of it, sweating, hyperventilating. I start to grow that fear of switching on my computer, sitting myself upright before it, and all the while receiving news about another child’s disappearance and the risk of being sold again (yes, again!!)
In the midst of all these I hear His voice saying to me, “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord in not in vain.”
Paul and I have been praying how to immerse ourselves in the work involving Cambodia and everything in it through our role with Ratanak. The Lord assures us that we will be Christ’s ambassadors, ministers of reconciliation. We will do the work of the Lord. We will take with us the Spirit who dwells in us and the gifts in us according to the needs of the moment. We will walk the path that has been marked out for us before we were born.
By thinking of all these names that come to our attention: SN, C, S, another S, L, another L, MH, P, and a few I know not of their names, wherever they are now, versus where we are now and where we will in 5 years, 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, 50 years of time, in spite of the immensity of the task and its deep roots, I am once again quoting the prayer letter of a friend and that also speaks of what is inside my heart, “we will not end the scourge of child sex slavery in Cambodia overnight. But the work we do will not be in vain. It will produce a harvest. We do not know when, but we do know it will happen.”
Because we are empowered by His Spirit.
Because we are charged with transforming the present as far as we are able, in light of that future. Father God, we thank You for Your promises and Your faithfulness. In Your Son’s powerful name, we pray. Amen!