This week has been a tough week. First, our book club recently discussed A Child Called It. The book is the true story of a man who was the victim of one of the worst child abuse situations documented in California. The book is very difficult to read, especially because the child was mistreated and reduced to a meaningless existence by the person that should love him and protect him – his mother.
This week was also difficult because of the heartache that I have witnessed in many friends that I hold near and dear to my heart. Lately, some of my friends, who are beautiful, lovable and wonderful women, have been mistreated. These incredibly strong and special women have been torn down and treated as if they are unlovable. To make matters worse, these women have been treated this way by family and friends that should love them unconditionally.
Today I also heard about the tragedy at Virginia Tech. My heart weeps for the parents that lost children, for the friends that lost classmates, for the professors who lost students.
When I hear about the terrible pain and heartache in the world, my heart aches. I so desperately want to change things. I want to step into the situation and “fix” the problem. At times I cry out to God: Why is there so much suffering? Why do the people who should love us the most (our spouse, parents, siblings) sometimes abuse us and hate us? Why does my heart ache, yet I feel completely powerless to make things better? Why do innocent people have to suffer? Why are some people born into poverty and despair that I cannot comprehend?
I wish that I could tell you now that I have the answer to these questions. Although I do not have the answer, I do know one thing without a doubt. While I cannot “fix” the world’s problems, I can be a shoulder to cry on for a friend in need. Although I cannot rescue every abused child, I can show love to my children and to the children that I encounter in my daily life. Although I cannot change the tragedy at Virginia Tech, I can lift up the heartache of those involved to God in prayer. Even though I cannot prevent others from being born into poverty and sadness, I can help a few families repair a home on a mission trip. Although I may feel powerless, God gives me the power to love others and to let them know that they are loved.
It is often said that we, as Christians, may be the only Jesus that the world ever sees. During this time of heartache and pain, I believe this with all of my heart. I know that I cannot bring back the victims of the shooting, and I know that I cannot take away the pain of my friends who are suffering. However, I can love them with the love of Christ. I can let them know that they are beautiful, and that they are loved.
In Ephesians 3:17-19, Paul writes of Christ’s love:
“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
It is our duty to love others, so that they too may experience this unexplainable love through our actions. Like Paul, I too will pray that the hurting of the world may have power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and I will pray that they may each experience this love that surpasses understanding. I will strive, through my actions, to show them the love of Christ.