I heard the deep compassion in her voice, skimming through the phone.
“I know how tender your heart is, Jennifer, and I will pray that your heart doesn’t break too badly.”
I don’t know which of us was more surprised when these words tumbled out of my mouth: “Oh friend. Please pray that my heart does break. Pray that it hurts deep.”
Half of my two-faced heart winced when I spoke those words into the phone. Pray for a heartbreak? Really? Did I just say that out loud? But the spoken plea came from my heart’s better half, the part that knows this truth: radical obedience to Christ means risking a hurt heart.
One of my biggest fears in this life is that I’ll be content with lightweight Christianity that doesn’t require much of anything. If I get honest, it’s easy for me to stand up and shout, “I’m a believer!” Following Jesus? Count me in. Relatively speaking, my burdens are light, my freedoms are plentiful, my cupboards are crammed, my gas tank is full. Carry a cross? Yeah, sure. I can do that.
But let’s face it. If I want to avoid the pain of poverty, I can shut the door, turn off the TV, ignore the newscasts and never, ever abandon my own secure existence for the sake of my Savior. I can turn my back daily on Jesus.
But what would it really mean to deny myself? Not just for a week in Haiti, but for a life?
It is just a week. But it’s still a week. And I want my heart to break for what breaks His in the next 168 hours. And then, I want it to break terminally after that. I want more of my two-faced heart given over to Jesus. I need to touch the poor, need to run my fingers along their bony shoulders, need to hold their swollen-bellied babies.
I need to see how Jesus poses daily as the poor.
And then I need to NOT forget.
Sure, I’ve been immunized. I’m taking malaria pills every morning with toast, and I’ve felt the pinch of the shots in the flesh. But I don’t want to be cured of the pain crushing down on my fellow man. I don’t want to be immunized from that.
I am winging my way south for love. I know I’ll weep. But, I’ll laugh, too. And I’ll listen and I’ll learn. And I’ll love. Mother Teresa once said that the greatest poverty on earth is that of a person who feels unwanted and unloved. I want to get downright rich with love, when I’m Getting Down With Jesus in Haiti.
Help my self-focused heart beat more strongly like this:
Jesus … Jesus … Jesus.
My Savior died for me. And it seems I ought to do a little more dying every day.
I am heading to Haiti early Monday. I will arrive by 3 p.m., God-willing. Would you pray for us?
I am going with this group. You can read more of the story here, about how this trip came to pass (all God!!!). We will be helping at-risk women who make jewelry. We will be visiting orphanages, and I have a suitcase full of bath towels and supplies … and a little baby lamb to deliver.
And we will be doing this: opening our own hearts to the deep, necessary soul-work in the name of a faith that isn’t built on our comfort, but on His sacrifice.
I do hope to blog about our trip this week, assuming the wireless connection works. 🙂 …
Thank you for your prayers. Like my husband said this weekend: “Be sure to tell your online friends what you are doing; they are prayer warriors, and you know they will pray for you.” And I know. I really do know.
We thank you. Thank you for “going” where I’m going. It’s a great comfort to us knowing you’ll be near, friends. In Jesus’ name, we thank ((you.))