Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Gently reminded.....come Spirit of God....

I was half watching the TV news tonight at 6, when what I saw caused me to fall on my knees to cry, and call out to God.

Did any of you see this story? In scenes reminiscent of Ceacescu's orphanages, US soldiers find two dozen boys tied to beds, lying in their own excrement, dying, while staff cooked in a kitchen next door, with well stocked cupboards of food clearly in view.

My heart broke and all I can do even now is cry out to God for the lives of these children. For them to be able to trust and love again. How stark ring the words in Lamentations 2:19
Arise, cry out in the night,
as the watches of the night begin;
pour out your heart like water
in the presence of the Lord.
Lift up your hands to him
for the lives of your children,
who faint from hunger
at the head of every street.

We have had the musician Godfrey Birtill visit our church a few times over the years; he has become a friend, and he has taught about "songs of lament" that are found in the Bible. He has written some for the church to sing too. He says, it's time for the church to sing songs of lament again for the state of the nations, to cry out prophetically to God for justice and mercy, for the freedom for the oppressed. I physically shivered with the majestic sense of God's presence the last time we sang this song. It echoes his heart, I think.

Lord turn Your footsteps towards these ruins
We need You here...We need You here...
Our homes are broken
Our children are stolen
We need You here...We need You here....

Our God and King...Ancient of days...
Alpha Omega, Jesus, Saviour
Work Your deliverance in this place.
Yours is the night...Yours is the day..
No-one is greater...come Lord save us!
Work Your deliverance in this place...

Lord turn Your footsteps towards these ruins
We need You here...We need You here...
In these streets filled with darkness
Our children fatherless
We need You here...We need You here...
Godfrey Birtill
© Whitefield Music UK

It's hard not to feel a sense of hopelessness. How long, O Lord? Till you come again and the Darfurs and Baghdads stop? I want to spend my life on things that matter in your eyes, Father.

I also felt convicted about previous comments I have made about the US involvement in Iraq. Whilst not all of my beliefs have changed, I felt the Spirit say to me as clear as day: " be grateful for those US soldiers who found the orphans - they showed kindness and compassion to those boys; did you see the gentle touch of their hands?; I sent them to save them from certain death".

So thank you, God, for gently taking my eyes UP and OUT instead of IN on ME.


  1. Anonymous4:58 AM

    Lynn, Susan here
    How much is this horrible situation a metaphor for our times? Could you use it as such?

    A billion people go to bed hungry at night. A billion people live in slums, literally dying in their own excrement as they struggle to carve out any sort of life. A child dies of poverty every 3 seconds
    ....tick ....tick.....tick.

    And yet we are next door, cooking with abundant food in sight, living our lives as if those others did not exist. Selling things that should be theirs to make more money and comfort for ourselves, living through their sacrifice.

    Jesus had some very harsh words for people who live this way - Matt 25, Parable of the Sheep and the Goats. I fear often that when he says 'that which you did not do fo the least of these brothers of mine, you did not do for me ....' He is talking to me.

    But "thinking Glbally, Acting Locally" might help you to process the horrors you saw. Maybe you can spread this word, make something of it.

    I know I am writing this at 5am - can't sleep. I am havinga very hard time with my own faith right now for a variety of reasons, and your story has ben much in my mind, and this is how I thought would be best to respond.

  2. So right Susan. I felt (like everyone else I guess!) enraged at the injustice of those selling food and clothes on the black-market instead of giving them to the kids - and yet you're spot on - globally speaking "that's me!"

    It's scarey all the things Jesus said about the rich - and then to realise again that globally speaking "that's me!"

    I just cling on to the disciple's question after Jesus saying it's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle - "who then can be saved?" And Jesus' response "With God all things are possible".

    But for the grace of God...

    (Not that this is a cop-out for doing something about it!)


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