As I thought about this little 7 year old girl, I sat again wondering how such evil could exist and again the question of ''why'' ----why would anyone do such a thing? What would possess a group of young men to gang rape such a young child? In the face of such questions and such darkness, what is my response? What is our response? Do we shake our heads and move on to the next story? I feel compelled to write about this young life who I do not know because she has been made in God's image. Satan is doing all he can to destroy and devour this life but I believe God will have the last word on this young life, not satan. Our organization was established because of a little girl named Ratanak who Brian McConaghy never met but whose suffering compelled him to respond. So it is in our DNA to not forget these little ones, to not overlook them but, to see every little girl as a Ratanak---the Khmer name for ''Precious Gem." As I think of the 7 year old girl, her pain, her suffering, her brokenness should not be silenced, it should not be forgotten. We need to keep bringing these horrendous acts into the light. We need to bear witness to the universal wrong of such acts, for the day that we turn away, is the day that we value our comfort more than their pain. The day that we close our hearts from from entering into such pain is the day our heart is no longer broken by the things that breaks God's heart.
Stories of such horrendous abuse do not discourage me, they have the opposite effect. They fuel my passion to speak up for those who have no voice. They fuel my desire to seek justice on behalf of the oppressed. They fuel my Holy Discontent. What do I mean by that? Bill Hybels describes Holy Discontent this way: if you expose yourself to all that’s broken in our world but neglect to view the brokenness from heaven’s perspective (which promises that everything is in the process of being restored), then you’ll get sucked into an impossible downward spiral of aggravation, frustration and anger. Once that frustration and anger is understood as being your ‘holy discontent’ through your spiritual connection to the God who’s working to fix everything, it’s as if an enormous wave of positive energy gets released. This energy causes you to act on the dissatisfaction that’s been brewing deep within your soul and compels you to say ‘yes’ to joining forces with God so that the darkness and depravity around you gets pushed back. Your perspective shifts from that which your eyes can see to that which God tells you is true and it is in this reality that what is enslaved can still be set free, what is broken can still be mended, what is diseased can still be restored, what is dirty can still be made clean and what is wrong can still be made right. It is that one cause or purpose or problem that grabs you by the throat and just won’t let you go. It is that “one thing” in your heart that God is stirring a passion for. Your ‘one thing’ brings you to a place where you feel you simply must do something. When you have a deep desire to see things change, you are compelled to show up. Your soul doesn’t give you a choice in the matter. Ultimately you have no idea what the end results of your labor will be; all you know is that it is critical that you engage.
So friends I thank you for your support of the work we are involved in in Cambodia. For as you join us, you are not only feeding your Holy Discontent but even more so, you are ministering to Christ in His disguise as so eloquently described by Henri Nouwen: In these suffering bodies of people we must be able to recognize the suffering Christ. They too are chosen, blessed, broken and given to the world. As we call one another to respond to the cries of these people and work together for justice and peace, we are caring for Christ, who suffered and died for the salvation of our world." In each one of them we see Jesus in disguise.