Writing our thoughts isn't new but today blogging through the Internet provides instant expression to anyone in the world who cares to connect and listen. Long before cyberspace, Christians such as Augustine of Hippo, Soren Kierkegaard, Blaise Pascal and John Wesley wrote journals that for centuries have been read. Through these writings the reader can explore the souls of people who were used by God in significant ways. In the bible we read that the Lord told the Israelites to remember their history so they wouldn't forget what He had done for them. Much soul shaping appears in the pages of the Old and New Testaments. Luke wrote his gospel and the book of Acts as a personal journal to record the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and the birth of the church. So journals help us because over time, they offer a road map about where we've been and where we're headed. David the shepherd boy who became king, poured his soul into poems eventually collected in the book of Psalms. David's words can be our words. He rejoices of intimacy with God in one entry and in the next he complains that God seems far off. The courageous outpouring of one man's heart offers inspiration and even revelation into God's heart.
Journalling then works out what resides in the soul. A personal journal permits the soul to speak about what matters. Whether the pages are bounded by the Internet or bound in leather, personal reflections makes a journal significant.
These reflections by Stephen Smith resonate with me because it is one of the reasons I try to blog as often as time permits for me to do so, as I find it is often therapeutic giving me perspective on what God is trying to say through the situations we find ourselves in here. In many ways it is part of the journey of recounting God's faithfulness to us corporately as we pray and a reminder to me that God is working in the details of my life here. So often it is easy to forget that when we are in the midst of the busyness here or we are dealing with spiritual warfare or we are feeling tired and weary of the journey. But today, these thoughts came to alive in a much sharper way when I read a poem that our Ratanak partner Don Brewster highlighted on his blog. It is a poem of one who has lived through the horrors of sex trafficking and who now testifies what its like to travel the road from victim to victor. As Don says, it is a poem that brings both awareness and hope. We trust that as we share this with you who read our blogs and pray for us that you too will be encouraged and inspired at what our Great God can do in the lives of one who knows what its like to live through the darkness and now walk in the Light! What a blessing it is to have this young woman pour out the deepest pains and struggles of her heart and her life as she shares her history with us. What a blessing to read and be inspired of the hope she has found in the One who is the Source of all Hope.
"In A City With No Hope"
by Linzie Joerres
"There's a girl who's all alone
in a city with no hope
All around her, girls are dying,
she sees it and she's crying
'cause it all started with their trying
to find a better world than the ones they'd always known.
She sits alone on the damp floor in the looming dark.
Her face has gotten hard and dull and painfully stark.
Her heart is growing cold here
as she fights the fear of growing old here,
forever trapped here in these walls, in this cage.
She fights the rage.
She was lied to and deceived
by the hope of something more.
She was tricked into believing
that there was something worth fighting for.
The woman and man,
they opened up their hands to her,
promised life to her dreams,
made her think that these things
were obtainable, reachable,
but as she reached, the shackles came down on her hands,
and all of her plans
went up in smoke as they forced her to smoke
to get her addicted.
Her life thus far has been depicted as
All of her life's gains
are now worthless, pointless.
There's no point to her life,
in her darkness there's no light,
but in spite of the disappointment and pain,
stepping out of doubt's rain,
one flame of hope is sparked
inside her heart
and her mind starts spinning.
Maybe there's a chance of winning
the freedom she's been longing for, striving for, dying for, grasping,
Now she's clasping the hands of a man who's faceless, nameless, 9th man today,
meaningless in this seemingly endless display of insanity.
She's trying to keep her sanity as he's screaming profanities at her
because she doesn't please him.
She doesn't want to appease him
'cause she's frightened
that it will bite her, too,
this bug that's killing the others,
but it doesn't bother
or concern the man who's plan is just satisfaction
from her actions.
He doesn't have to use protection,
there's no protection for this girl in a city
where no one's going to pity her, save her.
She's got no saviour,
just accusers who want to use her
as an object for their pleasure.
She doesn't know that she's really a treasure
that should be guarded, secured, protected.
There's no protection for this girl in a city with no hope.
is racked with pain
from thousands of beatings
away at her soul and her back
reminders of the lashes received
When she fought back
rolling and thrashing
around on the floor.
She can’t fight this war anymore
She’s trying to think rationally, to think clearly,
But clearly, she’s become
There's a knock at the door,
she gets up from the floor,
bracing herself for more.
She wishes it were over and done,
man number 12, the day's barely begun.
But this man doesn't have the same look in his eyes
as all the men who had come before,
all who shared a similar guise, before.
This man stretched out his hand
not to condemn her or harm her,
but to disarm her doubt.
He told her he wasn't there about that.
He was there to save her,
to be her Saviour,
to show her a hope she had never known before.
She falls to the ground in shock and disbelief,
so afraid that once again she's being deceived.
He picks her up off the floor
where she fell down,
then walks out the door,
his voice in her ear
all her fears and insecurities.
She finally has security and protection
because this bold man took action.
For her sake, he put his life at stake,
and for once in her life of trying and striving,
she's now thriving,
experiencing freedom and a life of HOPE."