I sit on the back deck of my dearest Scott & Hermine's log home.
The view before me blurs and trickles; gratitude-tears softening my vision.
It's just too much.
The sky is crystal-clear, azure blue. A light breeze cools me from the intense high-altitude, Colorado-mountain sunshine. Pikes Peak looms in front of me, with poetic grandeur, and home-at-last comfort.
A month ago I watched online from New Mexico as the forest blazed out of control, a mere two miles from here. I feared there wouldn't be a home to return to. For many, just over the ridge of Rampart Range, there is no home-at-last comfort to be found.
And it's just too much to comprehend.
While we were at the Manuelito Navajo Children's Home, I fell in love. In the 3 weeks since we've been gone, I've been heartsick with missing her. And her precious sisters. Three girls, abandoned. First by their parents, then by an adoptive aunt, finally by a grandmother. So much loss, neglect, mistrust.
I'm coming to believe more & more, its my calling to step in and offer practical hope for healing. And I don't think that calling is unique to me. Seems like God's Word is pretty clear: in one form or another, as Christ-followers, we are all called to love our neighbor, to care for the impoverished, the sick, the needy, the orphan.
But like my sister lamented - the need is so great, so generations-thick, so vastly and deeply rooted. Can I really make a difference? What if I love & disciple & cherish & pray for Lyranda...and she still ends up back on the reservation, jobless, purposeless, repeating the same cycles of neglect and abuse?
O God, no!
I can't let my lovesick heart go there.
The risk of loving, it feels like too much.
Theresa, the oldest of the girls at the Children's Home, hitched a ride with us to visit her sister in Colorado Springs. Since we had a family reunion to attend in Franklin, TN first...it became a 2-week, fraught-with-adventures-of-epic-proportions, really-get-to-know-ya, cross-country road trip.
I think it was hard for Theresa in TN. Watching from the outside, I'm sure she perceived it as the movie-worthy, American-dream kinda extended family gathering. Glamourously beautiful aunts & uncles & cousins, lounging & laughing on acres of opulent Southern-sprawl landscape.
But we all have our heartache. A baby lost. A daughter's tragic death. The son with chronic illness; the son who goes astray. Total financial failure. Depression even in wealth, diabetes, and heart surgery, and living with the lingering ache of loss.
In the comfortable presence of family, thru heartache and abundance, I still saw the calling played out: with tender touches, words of encouragement, and stories shared of memories, brokenness, new life, hope. Jared and Ilea have lived that calling in a dramatic way, from creating KEZA out of the dust of Rwanda, to literally changing their name, as they build a life of walking-the-walk discipleship in Kenya. We were all enamored with their brand-new baby Saoirse...who in just a few short weeks will fly away back home to Mombasa. Where bee attacks can kill a grown man, and health care is marginal at best, and that tiny baby girl is an ocean away from her grandparents & aunts & uncles...
Answering the call is so risky.
And help me Jesus, but I'm afraid.
It all just seems like too much to bear.
It's afternoon now, and the wind blows thru majestically tall evergreens. Wispy white clouds linger to the north of the Peak. A spattering of rain drops accents the black ash, thinly layered over broad pine branches. Evidence of burning destruction; reminder of fear, and risk, and loss.
Beauty intermingled with Devastation.
Heartache still burning, even as Hope blooms.
And so I ask for ears to hear,
and eyes to see,
wisdom to walk worthy,
strength for the long-suffering;
and I heed the call.
Even when it's just too much.
When it's just too much.