Thursday, June 13, 2013

Let Your Heart be Broken

Let your heart be broken for a world in need:
Feed the mouths that hunger, soothe the wounds that bleed,
Give the cup of water and the loaf of bread
Be the hands of Jesus, serving in His stead.

Here on earth applying principles of love,
Visible expression God still rules above
Living illustration of the Living Word
To the minds of all who've never seen or heard.

Blest to be a blessing, privileged to care,
Challenged by the need apparent everywhere.
Where mankind is wanting, fill the vacant place.
Be the means through which the Lord reveals His grace.

Add to your believing deeds that prove it true,
Knowing Christ as Savior, makes Him Master, too.
Follow in His footsteps, go where He has trod;
In the worlds great trouble risk yourself for God.

Let your heart be tender and your vision clear;
See mankind as God sees, serve Him far and near.
Let your heart be broken by a brothers pain;
Share your rich resources, give and give again.

-Bryan Jeffery Leech

All too often my heart is hard, not broken.

When I was younger I boasted in my non-crying ability. I scoffed at those whose waterworks flowed regularly. But now...

Whether it is hormones or the Lord softening my heart, I tear up far more often. I feel pain. I read, watch or tell a story, and in putting myself in the subject's shoes, I find myself choking up over their joys and sorrows.

I played the piano on Sunday for my daughter's baptism. As I listened to our "village", our spiritual family, singing, my heart was filled with gratitude to every one of them. For investing in my life and investing in my children's lives. I got a bit teary then too.

My heart ached as we visited the abortion temple near Tokyo. Every one of those little Buddhas represents a baby who was aborted. It was one of the saddest things I have ever seen. My heart grieves for each of the babies and mothers those idols represent.

I am very familiar with this song by Bryan Leech. The lyrics have spoken to my hard heart before.

They speak to my heart because they are so convicting. They remind me of the truly ugly nature of my heart. They remind me that though I tear up over stories and temples in foreign lands, often needs in my own back yard find my heart hard and unresponsive.

Give the cup of water, and the loaf of bread. Be the hands of Jesus, serving in His stead. I am totally against a social gospel. I feel that churches focusing on food kitchens and clean water often (not always) are missing the boat in truly presenting the gospel. In swinging the other way, I often forget the tangible physical needs people have.

Or how about the sex traffic industry that is flourishing in our world? It seems like it is the current pet project of Christian women bloggers. Since everyone is on that band wagon, I refuse to be. In opposing the everybody's doing it mindset, my heart hardens, and is not tender, seeing the world as God sees it.

Sometimes I grow weary of all the writings about infertility, and about how I, as a person who has not problems conceiving, should act and speak around these couples. I get annoyed when Mother's day becomes more about their pain than about my celebration of being a mother. I forget that they are telling their story and sharing their poignant heart aches. My heart isn't soft or tender. It is ugly, filled with selfishness.

I am leery to risk myself for God in the world's great troubles. I'd rather not give and give again, to people who just squander it. Who make the same mistakes over and over again.

Too often, I sit on my high horse judging. Someone's decisions led them to the place they are at. Let them live with the bed they made. My life has also been shaped by my decisions. Of course, I am blessed. Because of my decisions. Not grace upon grace. Snort...yeah...that actually goes through my mind.

Yes, God will judge sin. But currently, the judgement for sin worldwide, has been paid by Jesus Christ. God is extending grace and forgiveness.

This article spoke to my heart this week. Is our priority purity and holiness or is it perception? How we look to others? How other's behavior reflects on themselves, us and the church? How it reflects on Christ is hardly in our thoughts. If our emphasis in on outward appearances, well, anyone can shine up the exterior. But, what about the heart?

See, my call is not to judge sinners. My call is to love sinners. To love like Jesus Christ loved. My call is to give like Christ gave.

Jesus Christ didn't only die for the sinners with the perfect looking lives. He didn't just extend grace to the worthy. He extended grace and forgiveness to those who didn't deserve it.

Because that by definition is grace. Undeserved and unearned favor and kindness. It can't be earned. It can't go to the worthy.

Let your heart be broken. It's a choice. It's a relinquishment...

To whom do you need to extend grace to this week? Today? I know exactly who needs that grace from me. Unconditional, unquantified love. 

You know who you are. And I love you.