Long about the time I was in Arizona this year, God started really whispering to me. He whispered softly about the fact that I had allowed my heart to become a clenched fist, shielded, protected and unbreakable. He sang crooning songs of love about opening up, pouring out, being vulnerable, being present, showing love. He gently showed me that a clenched fist doesn't have to let go of what it already holds, but it can also never receive any more than it has already been given, and He has more. So much more.
There's something safe about being closed up, and I like safe. I have wanted to wrap up in a cocoon of safety. There are things that make your children ask questions that are too hard to answer; there are things that make your own heart have questions that have answers you don't want to face. Easier to close your eyes, wall up your heart, and sit safe inside a prison of your own making. Only the view from in there, well, it ain't so great after awhile.
So I took God at His Word. I let my faith in His promises deepen again (and again and again and again). I opened up my eyes and my heart and my hands, and true to form, God has wasted absolutely no time in filling them to overflowing, and these things, the eyes wide, heart wide open things will be making many appearances here in the days to come. Because when you tell Jesus you are opening your heart to love like Him, He will break it again in the ways that break His own heart.
Meet Konkobo, Fiona and Jacksen. These are my heart babes, born into poverty I can't comprehend, into hopelessness, into rampant disease, one from a country that I'd never even heard of before this month. These are Jesus' children, and by the gift of His generous blessing to me, they are now mine to raise in prayer. Jacksen is our child from Haiti, and twice now we have waited, for weeks to hear if he and his family were still living, events far outside any control I pretend to have, beyond my ability to imagine conspire to destroy him and thousands of children and families like his whose very lives are daily held in place by a three strand cord of faith, hope and love, theirs and mine.
A wide open person opens her eyes to the need in this world and responds. A wide open heart trusts God to open itself to love, unreservedly, a child your arms may never hold. A wide open faith shows gratitude by giving up that which is luxury for that which builds the Kingdom, locally and globally. My eyes have seen, and they can't unsee the places where God's heart breaks. I know, and now I am responsible. I've spoken, and now you are responsible as well.
I hope you will consider sponsoring a Compassion International Child. You can be the lifeline of faith, hope and love to a family in a way you never dreamed, if you dare to be wide open. I'd love to answer any questions you have, or tell you more about my own Compassion experience. It's been more revealing about my own selfishness than I ever imagined, and that sort of gift is priceless.