Drives to the Safari School, where we teach the Bring Love In kids, play in our minds like a blurred, disturbing video. When our eyes meet those of desperation, it’s as if they sear a mental tattoo into our minds. We are all asking “Now what?” in our own ways.
This is a difficult and delicate time of working out our salvation, being intentionally aware of the still small voice that whispers “Do you love me? Do you trust me? Do you know that I am a good Father?” Sometimes it’s hard and confusing to trust a God that allows such pain in our lives and those around us. And, yet, He promises in Matthew 12:20 that “a bruised reed He will not break.” We need only to surrender to Him alone.
These people are bruised. When a family who so desperately needs water is bombarded by a flash flood in their humble shack, forcing them to quickly hang everything on the walls, they are bruised. When a landfill resident and her children have to be dug out of a landslide of putrid trash that kills hundreds of her neighbors, they are bruised. When all the orphans at A-Hope For Children are abandoned by society because they are labeled HIV positive, they are bruised. When a family uses a dirty sleeping mat to serve as their home while our van casually passes by within 3 feet, they are bruised. When my son and I visit our sponsored child’s family in Uganda who continuously struggle to barely make ends meet, they are bruised. Life seems to continuously slap these precious people in the face without hesitation, without remorse.
A bruised reed He will not break.
Our Heavenly Father, in His love and infinite wisdom, permits this pain. Whatever His reasons, I know He is a good, good Father. His plans are profoundly perfect and multifaceted and, yet, often misunderstood.
If the walls of the counseling room at the Bring Love In office could talk, they would sob. They have a beautiful mural painted on them, bearing encouraging verses. However, one wall bares an image of swaying reeds and is the only wall lacking a verse. The director, Birhan, has informed me that he will have Matthew 12:20 painted on that wall. So when that child who has experienced almost unspeakable pain that most of us will never know, reads those words from our Heavenly Father, they will hopefully realize that He acknowledges their pain and is there to bring healing and purpose to a bruised soul.