That's a powerful line. So much so that there should probably be an asterisk beside it leading to a footnote. Because I've decided when we prayerfully sing that line and mean it, we should get the same warning people quickly give you whenever you start to pray for patience. You the know the be careful what you prayer for because God answers those prayers.
Hear me out I'm not saying not ask God to break our hearts for what breaks His. What I am saying be ready for the reality of what that means.
For the last 6 months I've really struggled to have passion about life in Tremorfa. When called to a place we all go through moments where passion ebbs and wanes. There are reasons I feel like my passion has waned and I working through those, but this isn't the place those. The bigger is issue is feeling the loss of passion and how to be faithful in the call when your heart doesn't feel there. Last year the stuff I was doing in Tremorfa was the stuff that I felt brought me to life. This year the role has switched and the office based stuff feels more life giving. I don't want to exchange one for the other. I want to be passionate about both and feel both being life giving. I find myself daily reminding myself that I am called to Tremorfa. I guess it's the idea if you say it enough maybe you'll believe it. Again the being faithful even when you don't feel it.
As 2015 has progressed this 'break my heart for what breaks Yours' keeps popping up. This concept that being close to my Father's heart involves being close to the things that matter to Him, the things close to His heart. This idea that to have passion I have to feel and sometimes feelings means having your heart broken for the place you're called to.
You see in some ways it's easy to become numb living in Tremorfa. Because every young person has a tragedy. Every boy and girl has faced something too horrific too young. And the more you hear the more you have to fight against the numbness. Or even worse the feeling of hopelessness.
But I don't want to be numb. I want to feel deeply for Tremorfa. And the last few days I have.
I've felt when mentor on a Friday morning. And my one girl is so closed off and guarded. In some ways what she doesn't say speaks louder than what she says. In the mist of the silence I know she has known a life of pain, rejection and instability. She carries too much baggage at 13 because the people who should be there for her aren't. She has already decided that there is no she can trust. And honestly who can blame her if rejection is what she knows?
I've felt when I spend time with these absolutely crazy teenage girls who do the strangest things but then let slip so casually that their mums or dads have abandoned them, they've been in foster care or that lack of fear they display when they casually go off to meet boys in the park. These girls are so value and too precious, and yet they don't believe that at all.
I felt yesterday when I look up my street and saw over 10 police men raid a house, only then to realise it was the house of the sweetest girl in our kids' club. She's one who played the angel Gabriel the last two years in the nativity with her arms raised high to heaven, and she's the most interested in Jesus in Sunday club. She's the kid I'm slightly convinced is perfect. And today the police raided her house for drugs as they targeted locations across the city known to be selling heroine and cocaine. She's eight and there are three younger siblings. She was probably at school when this happened but what will she come home to now that school is over. They made over forty arrests across the city. Was her dad one of those arrested? Was her mum? Did social services decide her house wasn't safe for her and her siblings? Is she now in care? When I was telling Michael about this he said she was the last kid to deserve this. But does any kid deserve this?
My heart and my head don't seem to live in the same place at the moment - to be honest I'm not sure they ever will again. I've grown up in church. I've been told since before I went to elementary school that Jesus is the answer. And I know He is. My head knows the right answers - I know this is a broken world. I know this all because of sin and one we'll go to heaven and this stuff won't exist. I know this. I've heard for as long as I can remember. I believe it to be true.
But knowing all this doesn't stop my heart from aching and crying out, "This just isn't fair!" Please don't give the me life isn't fair argument because it's not fair that an 8 year had her home raided for drugs. My life hasn't been perfect but it's been good. My childhood and teenage years weren't without hard things and pain - but I knew I was safe, I knew I was loved. That was totally because of where I was born. These kids and young people - they may not be perfect - but so much of what they deal simply has to do with where they were born. A lot of these guys deal with thei product of their parents' bad choices. Even their parents a lot of the stuff they do and deal with again has to do with where they were born. It's a cycle. I'm not saying we don't have choices. But think about how much your life especially your childhood has been dictated by others. How much of it is about the family and community you were born into?
My heart breaks and the tears fall. And I'm okay with this. Because it feels like passion being restored. It's the reminder when I look at these seemingly hopeless situations - that there is Hope, that I carry Hope.
I've been in Tremorfa for a year and half now. And one thing I am convinced of so many of the problems we see, the cycles people are chained stem from one thing they have no hope. Girls have no hope that they are worth something. At 13 so many young people have lost of hope that anyone can be trusted. There's no hope for a child to know she's safe at night. And that's the lie that's been believed that there is no hope. And without hope the true life ceases.
But I know there is Hope. And I know His name is Jesus.
I imagine when He met Mary and Martha as they mourned the death of their brother they had lost hope, certainly that he would live. Jesus felt their pain. Jesus wept. I fully believe Jesus is that great high priest who sympathises with us. He understands. He wept with Mary and Martha. He wept for His friend. He weeps with me as I weep for Tremorfa. He weeps for this precious little girl who had her house raided. He weeps for the abandoned girls and boys in the estate. He weeps for the broken. He weeps for us. We are close to His heart. We matter. We are not forgotten. Tremorfa is not forgotten.
And then He responds. He does the impossible. Wept and then He brought Lazarus back to life. When I claim Him as my hope, when I claim Him as the hope for Tremorfa. I believe He does the impossible. I believe He weeps and then He will come to bring Tremorfa back to life.
And I carry this Hope. These last six months have felt quite stale. But I as I cry for what's happening in Tremorfa I reminded that this is what I'm called to. I am called to carry Hope to the hopeless. I love the story of when Jesus meets the Samaritan woman at the well. I love that it says that He had to go through Samaria. He had to meet this woman who I also think didn't have much hope. When she met Jesus, she encountered Hope. She was never ever the same. I was called to this estate. It's not easy and it will break your heart. But that's okay because I have to be here. I have to carry this hope. I can stop because of fear. I have to bring Hope.
It's easy to see the hard stuff and distance yourself. It's easy to become numb. But I know I'm called to the brokenness. I know I need to bring Hope. I need to be here in the mist of this place because their are kids and teenagers and adults who need Hope.
Jesus comes into the brokenness and restores. And that's exactly why I need to be in Tremorfa. Hope is here. Hope is coming. Hope will be restored.
My prayer & hope for Tremorfa