I think I‘ve cried maybe 3 times in session. In over 15 years doing this work – I've cried maybe three times with a client. It’s not hard for me, normally. I am in my role of supporter, encourager, listener. But last week I cried. Needed-a-tissue cried. It came over me like a wave, before I could stop it – or even think about it.
She was sitting across from me. We were talking about what wisdom she has learned in her suffering. What God can do with her pain. And at that moment I felt this rush of purpose. I knew that I was there – present with her – at that very second to tell her to hold on. To tell her there was something better around the corner. And I cried with her. It felt strange to me. It felt weak. It felt wonderful.
Wisdom in Suffering. Purpose through Pain. Beauty in Brokenness. Can we find it? Do we see it? Can we hear it?
"Come to me, child. Come to me. I am here. It’s just around the corner. Just there ... hope."
It seems to follow me around. Especially as of late. If it’s not a patient on the brink of suicide, it is a loved one who has lost a job. A little 9 year old boy who would “do anything within my power” to bring his parents back together. A little girl's nightmares, a sexually abused4 year old, heartache from leaving all one knows, fear of coming into what’s new. Voices inside his head telling him to jump, a marriage meant to change the world now on the ground in a million pieces. A young man cutting himself because he hates being attracted to the same sex, but can’t tell anyone. Children dying before their time across the world of something we could go to Walgreens to fix. A love felt so deeply that she would rather die than live without him. Fear, Weakness, Smallness, Hatred.
Evil. Good. Light. Dark.
Suffering. So Much Suffering. But So Much Love.
So much Hope – if we could only see it at the time.
I told a friend last year that almost every day I feel like God puts a cape around my neck, kisses me on the forehead to say “Go Get’em Girl” Then on other days I am the one on the ground, feeling as if I am all alone, in a million pieces. But there is one thing I will not do:
Stay down there.
Why? I am in battle. And so are you.
A few weeks ago, we had gotten news that Senator Coburn had lifted his hold on the bill that would call the US to orchestrate a plan to disarm one of the rebel groups responsible for torturing the children we work with. It was a good day. A full day.
I ended the day with something I had been wanting to do for a while. I went to the movies by myself, and I watched Alice In Wonderland. Contrary to everyone else I have asked (begged) to see it again with me in 3D – I adored it. Top to bottom. Beginning to End. Why? I was Alice….at that moment, as cheesy as it may sound, I had that sword in my hand and I was fighting the Jabberwocky. In the biggest battle of my life. And so are you. It may be as simple as fighting the feelings of insecurity and as large as fighting wanting to give up. But we fight. We have to believe. The other option is not believing. The other option is giving up.
Alice. Fighting the Jabberwocky dragon:
“My dad used to say he'd believe in 6 impossible things before breakfast....”
Swing. Stab. Twirl. Fall down. Get up.
One: A drink that makes you smaller
Two: A cake that makes you grow
Three: Animals can talk
Four: A cat that can disappear
Five: There's a place called Wonderland
There is a place called Wonderland.
How did she do it? Simple. She believed she could. One of the things we tell the children we work with in Africa is that man can burn their homes, kill their family, force them to do things they would never normally do – but one thing man can never do is to steal away the power that lives in side of them. The power of their Creator to give them Strength. The One who gave them Breath can also give them Life. Abundant Life. True Life. Hopeful Life.
“I think you may be right” he said
“About what?” I said
“I prayed this week. Something helped me to pray. I think maybe you’re right about asking God to just be with me and help me get through this instead of asking him to make it go away. I don’t think it’s supposed to go away. So I prayed that He would just be with me and I felt better. It helped”
For that one. That moment is why I get up. Sword in hand. Surrounded by a Wonderland of pain and tears. Creepy rabbits with watches telling me how to act and how high to jump. Strange large-headed ladies who surround themselves with other distorted creatures just to fell less large-headed. Battling a dragon - and winning. That moment is why I get up. Because of a strength bigger than my suffering and larger than my life.
Because of that – I will be brave.
“Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you Rest. Take my yoke upon you and Learn of me, because I am Humble and Gentle and you will find Rest for your souls. “ - Jesus.