Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Hope of Healing

For a year now I've spent nearly every Tuesday evening at our local therapeutic group home for foster children. The opportunity to visit with the children and teens that live there is a tremendous privilege. Still, without fail at the end of the evening I leave with a heavy heart.

This evening was no different. As we worked on a craft project one of the girls who just returned from a visit with her mom said cheerfully, "I found out my dad's real name today!" She was very excited to finally know the actual name of her father. However, this new disclosure now throws doubt on other things she thought were true. She is so young and doesn't know what to believe.

There is always something. Words spoken that remind me of the deep brokenness in their lives. I leave fully aware that I don't have what it takes to heal them. I can't give love big enough to wipe away the pain and anger.

What do you say to a child who tells you the scar on their newly shaved head resulted from a hit with a candle stick? Or that they just got out of jail for stabbing someone and have no problem doing it again if insulted? Or that their case worker says they get to go home the next day, but the following week they are still there? Or the one you believed was turning a new leaf and is now in prison awaiting trial for manslaughter?

I love that scripture describes Jesus as a man of suffering. He, the very son of God, knows the pain of sin. He carried it. He defeated it.

And so at the end of every Tuesday I share my heavy heart with Him. I am reminded that those children are His and He cares for them much more than I ever could. He pursues them with the love needed for healing. He takes broken lives and instead of just mending them, gives new life.

My hear is heavy, but my spirit soars. The hope of healing pushes me back every week. I can't get enough. I am hungry for it.

"For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:14-19

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