step out to step in

when you enter into someone else's suffering, take your shoes off. you're on holy ground. i spent the weekend carrying the weight of His glory.

now, my heart breathes in the ache of statistics turned faces. it's easy enough to close my eyes. at any point, i could have walked out of the room instead of listen to the horrors of human trafficking weaving itself into the fabric of our foster care system. i could have shut the browser containing a blog post of a 13 year old boy turned killer - child soldiers within our own country trapped in the war of gang violence. i could have taken the bait. i could have refused to feel. i could have gone numb.

but i didn't.

and this suffering - this entering into one's pain in order to pull them out - it's keeping me up at night.

for six months, i haven't been able to get away from this pervasive calling to come against one of the biggest monsters in the Christian faith: denial.

if i turn off the tv, my brothers and sisters in libya won't be in danger. if i turn up the music, the cries of the little girl in the apartment above me won't exist. if i don't look at pictures of muslims protecting Christians in egypt, they'll still be people to fear. if i continue to call prostitutes whores, i won't have to think about them being victims. if i don't look at the man on the side of the road, he won't need my money. if i tell someone i'll pray for them and turn away, their grief will subside. if i eat this/buy that/drink some, my pain will go away.

i can't stop thinking about the need for artists to step out to step in - to embrace the suffering in order to reveal the hope. so much of today's culture closes their eyes to what's going on right in front of them.  dare we be audacious? dare we sit in the dirt and listen?

this weekend shifted my thinking in a lot of ways, and it also sealed some long worn-out thoughts into place. i feel God slowly moving me toward action - slowly healing me in order to use my legs and lungs of endurance rather than the spasms of passion i've relied on before. but in order for this to happen,  i need to step out of my comfort zone and into what brings me most pain. i need to lean in to Him and allow Him the process of stripping me bare so he can make me whole.

i need to step out of myself so He can step in - heart on fire, justice ready and love complete.

Posted on March 2, 2011 .