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. Β 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, Β 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 .