I just hung up the phone after speaking with a friend who is in full-time ministry. She and her family have dedicated their lives to demonstrating compassion to the oppressed and the vulnerable. I believe it is the work closest to Jesus’s heart, a reflection of the years he walked the sands of Judea.
Over the years I have been privileged to know her, she has shared with me a bit about the sorrow and struggle of her ministry journey. It is hard to see what she sees. Painful to love as she loves.
Love. Serve. Weep. Repeat.
Recently, my own journey has been freshly sown with tears as God has called our family to welcome another member into our tribe. There is so much sorrow in his story. So much loss. So much injustice. It is not easy in the best of circumstances to be a young Latino man in America these days. A young Latino man in DCS custody? A young Latino man in a group home?
Dignity, justice, and redemption are scarce. Thin.
I listen to his voice over the phone. Sit across the table from him at visitation. I tell him he is not forgotten. I tell him he is loved, that we won’t give up.
And when I am alone, I weep.
In the quiet, God reminds me of Psalm 125-
Restore us from captivity, Adonai,
like streams in the Negev.
Those who sow in tears
will reap with a song of joy.
Whoever keeps going out weeping,
carrying his bag of seed,
will surely come back with a song of joy,
carrying his sheaves.
Come, Adonai. Restore us. Pour out your healing grace on the orphan, the widow, the oppressed and the vulnerable. And for us who you have called to serve them, restore us as well. Be true to your promise that as we go out weeping, carrying our bag of seed, we will surely come back with songs of joy..
Come, Adonai. Come.