We’re Called to be Love in the Dark Places

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Today, my heart broke.
Over.
And over.
And over again.

Like any other morning, we pulled up to Louisville Rescue Mission, and my team member and I hopped out of the car. Cops were outside the rescue mission trying to talk with a pain-stricken young man, but I had no clue as to why or what was wrong. Seeing cops around this area of town is not out of the ordinary, though, so I quietly mumbled, “Oh, he’s probably just really high or something,” and proceeded through the front doors of the rescue mission as usual.

Today, my heart broke.
Over.
And over.
And over again.
As I made my way down the stairs I saw that everything was being freshly mopped. “Blood was everywhere,” I heard one person say. Confused, I walked into the chaos. The supervisors and more cops were hovered around a computer screen replaying a surveillance video over and over. Something didn’t feel right, and that feeling only got worse.

They pressed play again, and this time I was able to catch a glimpse: two men had been in some sort of dispute, but one of them started walking away to come back into the shelter. Just as he was about to open the door, the other, now enraged, man came up from behind and repeatedly bashed him in the head with a brick. Brick pieces and blood were everywhere. My stomach dropped. I’d never seen anything like this happen before.

Darkness and deep sadness were covering the whole shelter like a thick fog.

Those uneasy feelings didn’t go away quickly. Darkness and deep sadness were covering the whole shelter like a thick fog. I saw it. I felt it. It was so more intense than usual. It lurked behind each moment and to get away from it was seemingly impossible. I saw it in people’s  sunken eyes as I talked with them. Their blank stares. The hopeless conversations I heard. The room was full of slaves to anger and emptiness and pain.

All I wanted to see was some LIGHT! But instead I saw hearts aching…for joy. Everlasting joy. For freedom that is true, that is real. For love without limits or conditions. A home they can keep, one that is theirs, a place where they belong. But here’s the truth:

We’re all homeless.

This disease and death-ridden place is not our home. It’s warped and it’s crooked, but it will one day be set right. Jesus promises to set the world right in His return. Do you believe that today? I hope you do. Because so many of the people walking through the shelter’s doors don’t – and that’s a hopeless place to be and a devastating way to live.

Heavy stuff, right?

They need someone to come alongside them and physically pull them out of the mess they’re stuck in.
It was for me at least. I was discouraged as I looked around at the many faces. I thought, “What can I do? How can I fix this!?”

I can do nothing on my own. It is the power of Christ. But I know I can’t just throw Jesus’ name into a conversation the way someone carelessly slaps a bumper sticker onto his back window. No, I truthfully don’t think that’s what these people need. They need someone to come alongside them and physically pull them out of the mess they’re stuck in.

So, now what? I see there are so many hurting people in need of God’s love. But I look around. Where are all the helpers? The ones who can communicate His love? Who will be His love?

He’s calling us to action, to be moved for His people, and for our hearts to break for what breaks His.
Today I contemplated these questions, and I felt defeated. However, I’m choosing to hold onto victory. I believe in the power of Christ. He has won. He’s calling us to action, to be moved for His people, and for our hearts to break for what breaks His heart.

So I believe that relationships change lives. And it’s time I start building those relationships. It’s time we all start building those relationships. They can’t wait any longer. Let’s be Light in these dark places. Please realize the urgent importance of this truth with me today.

[starbox id=emily]

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