I am reminded constantly. Of our selfishness. Our broken and fallen nature. Our failure to meet God’s standard of holiness and absolute perfection. I hate these reminders, no matter how true. I want to be a person that loves my enemies with a perfect and unconditional love. I want to give homes for the homeless. A caregiver for the neglected orphan. A hug and a warm meal to the hungry.
I don’t like the reminder that we are broken people living in a broken world. I’m not able to eliminate poverty, radical injustice and worldwide atrocities. I’m not enough. I’m insufficient. And that hurts me deeply.
I am more reminded of my insufficiencies when I read about the Rwandan Genocide that happened 20 years ago. In 3 months over 800,000 Tutsi men, women and children were slaughtered by Hutus because of their lighter skin color. My heart aches for them. For the surviving family members that grieve the losses of their relatives. For the women who were raped by Hutu men and left to deal with an STD or pregnancies. For the people, both Hutu and Tutsi, who let their hearts be consumed in bitterness and hatred.
It saddens and angers me that the Rwandan Genocide is only one of the innumerable atrocities that happen world-wide. I hear stories that break me.
A Burmese man who had his mouth and eyes sewn shut and feet cut off to stop him from proclaiming the Gospel.
Due to insufficient dowry payments, the young Hindi husband vented his rage by slashing his new bride’s face repeatedly with a razor blade.
A Peruvian mother, beside herself gives her 4 children, all starving to death, some alcohol to drink just to keep them alive for another day.
Young, 9-year-old Angelina in Angola, Africa is sold by her parents to a 30 year old man as a sex slave. She is found three weeks later, beaten unconscious and and left in a ditch covered in blood and human waste.
The stories go on and many go untold.
The question screams inside of me.
“Why? Why God. Why so much suffering? I don’t understand.”
But with this horrific and inhumane ugliness, there is beauty that cannot be denied.
Our stories. Our lives. Our words. They’re all threads in a tapestry that the Grand Weaver, our Father is weaving until He brings the promised “Shalom” that was lost in Eden.
That’s what I’m living for. The Shalom. That is what keeps my fire from dying out.
But I’m not enough, right? What I do is a drop of water in a tumultuous ocean. No, I don’t like being reminded that I am not enough. That I am broken. That I am a failure. That I am weak.
But the Father, He is enough. He is perfect. He is strong.
There is nothing that I can do without His perfect strength. My prayer for you teenagers, for my Compassion International child, Abayisenga Diane, for the people of Rwanda, is that you will not trust your strength. That you will pray for God to work through your weaknesses in any way He chooses.
That is a dangerous prayer. I know. With that prayer request, He can send you anywhere. A new school. A new country. A new family. He may call us to forgive people we find unforgivable. He may call us to bind up the wounds of the afflicted. He may call us to follow Him to the ends of the earth. And, He may even call us to lose our earthly lives in humility, praying for our oppressors, for they do not know what they do.
That’s what The Intege Project is all about. Intege in Abayisenga’s language, Kinyarwandan means “strength.”
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying,
“Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”