I remember laying on the floor once during a wild time of worship when the Holy Spirit had come in such power and fire. The Holy Spirit kept asking me "how deep will you let my compassion run"? I didn't really know the answer but just kept replying 'all the way'...
The past few days have been our 'back to school' days for Royal Hope, the school for orphaned and very needy children we began last year. The times at school have been richer rich rich with the Presence of God. not in a gold dust and feathers kind of way. Not even in signs wonders or miracles of healing or deliverance. Not in an awards and accolades or big goals finally reached kind of way... But in the Presence of God as He comes in with Deep compassion. I have purposed in my heart to LOVE...deeply fully richly the children and staff I am with daily. I don't want to miss a moment, a breath a hug a smile. I may be the only LOVE many of these children will ever encounter. and in encountering love in me, they will somehow begin to grasp the concept of "You are a precious wanted chosen and royal child of God. Your Heavenly Father Loves you more than you can comprehend!" I don't want to give you sweet sugary stories or sob stories. The stories and things I am experiencing on a daily basis are deep pangs of sorrow mixed with joy and gratitude and delight mixed with an overwhelming awe of God...I think that is something like LOVE. Yesterday I greased a child from head to toe with a VERY severe fungal skin infection. I walked with her to the hospital to get medications, took her inside and held her hand, and told her in her own heart language that Jesus is with her and that she was going to be well. Then we went to get a sweetie ring lollipop from one of the little wooden shops lining the dirt road walk back to school. I walked with her home after lunch to tell her mom the instructions on the medication she would have to take at night! We never found the mom so we just left written instructions. Then today I went with her home again. I discovered a very thankful and very concerned mom. She was very worried about her little girl and I was surprised to learn that the girl had been sick with this skin infection since she was 3...she is now 7. She had been taken to the hospital to receive injections but the infections always came back. The doctors told her she needed a blood test to determine the proper medication and that if she didn't get it before age 10 there would be no hope for her to be healed. Of course there is always hope with Jesus...but I began to see the urgency of the situation. The mother didn't have money to get the blood test. Of course I had prayed and prayed each time I applied the medications to her skin. I also discovered her other little girl siblings...3 of them with nicely braided hair. I wondered what was going on. I found out that the father of the sick little girl had abandoned her from birth then the mother had children with another man. This man sent his own little girls to expensive private schools while his stepchild went to our school...a free school for orphans...and he refused to give the mother anything to help the step child not even one coin for tylenol or anything at all. We found her working while the other little girls played with their little dollies. The mom struggled and would just cry to try to pay for anything for this girl...Talk about a breeding ground for an orphan spirit and a spirit of rejection. My heart broke. I just kept telling her in Luganda that she was a beautiful princess. We're going to do everything we can to get this little girl well. Sometimes love comes and you get a instant miracle. Sometimes love comes and you go on a journey with someone...a journey of compassion where you feel the heart of Jesus.
Today I listened to a missionary tell me a story of how he spent a day with his 10 year old daughter. He took her to help an elderly blind woman cut her rose bushes. He told me how she would take each of their hands and kinda feel her way around and then say okay now cut there. He said it was one of his most breathtaking moments with Jesus. When Jesus was so tangibly present that He could feel Him right there with Him. That's how my days have been lately as I bandage wounds, hug toddlers before they go home, give hungry children food and water and medicine and prayers and love, boss them around to make sure they wash their VERY dirty hands before eating (with their hands), talk to single parents and guardians who can't afford anything for their kids, listen to stories of children who are living in such difficult situations .... It can be overwhelming for sure...but if I just look at each face and take each situation one at a time, I feel God's heartbeat. I feel His LOVE moving in me.
Somehow lately I just CRY. I cry at how beautiful of a life the Lord has allowed me to lead. I cry at how thankful I am for the Lord's faithfulness to see me through a difficult journey in which I thought I had lost everything i had invested in Uganda. I cry because of the compassion I feel the love that I feel for these beautiful ...diamonds as He calls them...the true diamonds...the treasures hidden in darkness...in Africa. Oh God how my heart is bursting is aching is crying is pleading with love for these. How I desperately long to see them loved and safe and blessed and happy and fed and treasured and adored and celebrated. Just to give them safe places free from the battlefield of Africa. Free from the pain the struggle.
Looking into their faces, their eyes, seeing their smiles and laughter, their adorable voices speaking in a foreign tongue that's becoming more familiar to me each day...I am convinced that God gave African children an extra breath of His Spirit. Just a little extra of Him...so that they may endure all that they face. Diseases, death of parents, abandonment, abuse, poverty and struggle, Fathers with many other wives and children, stepmothers who turn them into slaves, oh God...they must have been given a little extra of You. and You can see it...in their eyes, in their faces, in their songs and worship, They just got a little extra drop of God. An extra grace, joy, and strength...to endure to the end.
In all of this I am learning that my worship unto the Lord is most beautiful to me not in perhaps traditional ways, but in PRESSING THROUGH all the warfare all the battle all the nonsense, to get to a place of Love. My worship to Him is just going a little further than my flesh wants to ...to a place of SERVICE. Mind you...service is NOT my gift! But I know the Lord has put MERCY inside of me. Mercy in my heart...and through that mercy ( the desire to relieve suffering and to suffer with), I serve, I give, I love. The good stuff is not necessarily in the instant miracle, the gold dust, the feather, the sign or the wonder... (though I'm all for power and glory of God)...but for me, the good stuff is in the small things, the simple things, the little tiny acts of love we do for one another as unto our Maker. It is NEVER about numbers, it's only about HOW MUCH LOVE we put into it. We could serve ONE person who is destitute or ill or just normal our whole lives as unto the Lord with love and mercy and that is more than the person who leads millions to the Lord without compassion and love. I just feel like crying...tears of joy, tears of love.
Looking back on the past months, I realize I've let his compassion run a little deeper in me. Not by soaking everyday, not really by hearing his voice command me to stop, not by going to the most anointed miracle service with the man of the hour, or attending a conference on compassion...but simply by choosing to keep loving, to not stop, to not leave when I face threats and persecution (which I have), but to just keep hugging the next child, taking the next sick child to the doctor, bandaging the next wound, serving the next plate of food, waking up at 5am to get Christine to school on time, and so on and so forth it goes.
I don't really know how to end this so I'm just going to stop. I guess somehow I want to say, if you're not living a life of compassion and love by serving, by going an extra mile, by stopping for the beat up man on the side of the road, by caring for the orphan and widow and the poor, by loving and serving someone as if they were Jesus himself, then you are MISSING OUT on an incredible encounter (in my opinion the BEST kind of encounter) and experience of the Love of God. GOOOOO and LOVE SOMEONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!