"It might well be that the greatest threat to human survival now confronting us is not the loss of energy or the increase of pollution, but the loss of compassion. We are confronted daily with the pain of human tragedy- the breakup of family or the sunken face of a starving child- to such an extent that we soon learn to turn off what we see, In order to cope with our feelings of helplessness, we teach ourselves how not to feel. The tragedy in this response, which is probably more widespread than we dare believe, is that we also deaden our capacity for love, For Christians, the cross stands as an ever-present reminder that love and suffering are two sides of the same coin." James C. Fenhagen
I have many many memories that God has given me in 25 years of ministering amongst the poor, and some of those recollections cause me pain. But I choose not to run from those impressions or the suffering they evoke, because the greatest tragedy of all, would be to distance myself from the hurting. C. S. Lewis reminds me why:
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”
Perhaps now you understand my daily prayer in this loud distracting grieving brilliant beautiful world I live in: "Lord, let not my heart grow numb."
As David and I prepare to return to Haiti next month, will you pray with us that God continues to enlarge our hearts, so that we truly have His love to give.