This morning I received some good news that my little friend SN is doing well. She is still safe and was even helping a friend of mind make pancakes last week. Praise God for her grandmother who is standing up for her. But as I thought of SN, this phrase popped into my mind, for every one rescued or protected or prevented, there are others whose fortune is not so. I am led back to Char's post in Cambodia when she talked about her little friend 'L'. A girl who we all knew when we were doing the VBS in Svay Pak last year. She was beautiful and there was no doubt in our mind that she was at risk or had been already trafficked. I remember 'L' when she first came to our VBS, she never wanted anyone to take photos of her. I think I know why. But as time went by she began to warm up to us and so the photos ensued. Today, I can't help but think of "L'. Why was she not protected? Where is she? What is happening to her? What is she facing? What is she thinking? Questions, many questions as I go for a walk thinking about her. She is just as precious to God as 'SN', she is no different. She deserves freedom, she deserves to have a new life, she deserves protection from the pain that no doubt each day she is enduring. Why does she have to suffer? When will her turn for freedom and hope come? How long God so that she will not have to terrify no more? How long before she can be a chid again. How long?
I dont' have answers to these questions but I am quickly learning that this ministry challenges us at the core of our faith and belief. It is here where the rubber meets the proverbial road. We want our hearts to be broken by the things that break God's heart. We want to see what Jesus sees, we want to feel what Jesus feels...but do we? Are these empty words that we offer up when we sing or say them or do we really mean then. Jesus said 'He is the way'----His way is not often our way but so often He calls us to walk a path we would rather avoid, to go in a direction we would choose not to take left to our own inhibitions. To experience emotions that we would so quickly want to escape from. But that is not the Jesus way. The Jesus way calls us to follow Him with all our heart, soul and mind. The Jesus way calls us to obedience and obedience is costly. There is a cost in following His way. For it may involve pain we would rather not have, it may involve brokenness that we would rather not face, it may involve tears that we are not comfortable shedding. But this is the way of the cross. It cannot be avoided if we truly want to follow Him.
The other day my mum asked me how we could get involved in this minstry when it is so painful. As I think about that question I am left with a simple response: Christ love compels. Christ love compels us to go, Christ love compels us to face the darkness, the pain, the suffering head on. Christ love compels us to do all that we can. Christ love fuels my holy discontent, Christ love compels my passion to speak up for these whose innocence is being traded away like a cell phone upgrade. Christ love compels us to choose a path that is costly. Christ love compels us to live on the edge. There is no other reason but Jesus Christ.
So I think of "L"---I too will be interceding for her because Christ love compels a response. Christ came to seek and save the lost. It is not the healthy that need a doctor but the lost. She is still lost, lost in the abyss of darkness, a darkness that I wish she never had to endure. But Christ love compels me to give a voice to her plight. To speak for her, she maybe lost but she is not forgotten. She has been engraved in the palm of God's hand. Dear Lord, may you engrave her in our hearts that we would be moved to stand in the gap for her and for the many that she represents that are not statistics but that are individuals who have personalities, who have dreams, who have names.
Indeed for every one protected like SN, there are others like L. Let us not grow weary despite the visible reality, despite the difficulties, despite the trials, despite the discouragement. For after all the wrestling with God over these challenges, I come back to the simplest of truths. God is good all the time, all the time God is good. Jesus still reigns and the battle is His. I trust in the knowledge that in His sovereignty He knows where 'L' is and one day, I trust that He will reveal that to us. He has shown us that is possible through another girl who has been on Brian's heart for the past 6 years. These are God's kids, these are His precious ones and so we rest in His faithfulness and give thanks that He has given us the privilege of interceding for them, in keeping their faces in the forefront, in keeping their story alive.