Sunday, April 24, 2016

Out of Africa

There is so much brokenness in the world.  Broken homes, broken lives and broken hearts.  I'm becoming more and more aware of this as I travel around the world.  Brokenness is real. It's so evident in other countries but it’s also here at home as well.

It just feels more broken outside the boundaries of my familiarity.   

I recently journeyed, for the first time, to Africa with a team of people from our church to help at the CURE Hospital in Zambia.  Brokenness was all around us.  Handicapped children, hurting mothers, extreme poverty and desperate fathers.  CURE hospital is a beacon of hope and light in this broken place. 

It is hard to see the desperation, desolation and dire circumstances of so many people. Hard to know the place I come from, the luxuries I enjoy, the hospital care I can receive and see the lack here.  Hard to listen to stories of mothers carrying their crippled child on their back for miles to reach a bus and of the long journey on the bus to finally reach the hospital.  Hard to see a baby with a head the size of its body, the horrible effects of no prenatal care for the mother.  Hard to watch crippled children struggling to walk on the sides of their feet.  Hard to see the fear and hurt in a mother's eyes. 

Brokenness is everywhere in this place and yet brokenness is where I live as well.  Where I come from brokenness looks different but its brokenness just the same.  It's hard to see families torn apart by divorce and children devastated by the fracture. Hard to see entitlement residing in a heart and hard to witness adult children refusing to care for their aging parents. Hard to see a lack of gratitude for all we enjoy.  Hard to hear a friend's story of sexual abuse. 

It's evident we live on a broken planet. 

But in the midst of the brokenness, I see hope.  I see beauty. I see joy. 

I see God's healing hand and the love of Jesus in the hearts of His people.  I hear stories of light overcoming the darkness and beauty breaking through the brokenness.  I see God at work bringing severed families back together.  Healing children who have been devastated by a disability.  I see hope in a parent's eyes.  I see God's redeeming love in the heart of someone who forgives an enemy.  I see a children’s hospital (CURE) with a passion to heal the broken, body and soul.   

I see a God who understands brokenness because He became that for us! 

But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins.  He was beaten so we could be whole.  He was whipped so we could be healed.  Isaiah 53.5 

He was broken so we could be healed.  

Yes we live on a broken planet but we have a God who is in the business of turning brokenness into beauty and that is worth celebrating!