(For Lent I am practicing the Seven Sacred Pauses, which I’ll write more about in another post, but this is on my heart tonight.)
The Night Watch. Keeping Vigil with Jesus.
I tried to sit for 15 minutes and empty my mind, to see what God would speak into this pause. I don’t think my mind ever made it to neutral. Something I need to work on. Can I discipline my self in vigil-ing? I tried to name all the kinds of oppression I could think of. All the hurts that are being suffered at this exact moment. All the lines of communication that are open to God and are desperate, hurting, pleading.
Someone is losing someone they love, right now.
Someone is taking their last breath, right now.
Someone is considering taking their own life, right now.
Someone is being raped, right now.
Someone is being forced to do things they do not want to do, right now.
Someone has been sold, right now.
Someone has been bought, right now.
Someone is starving, right now.
Someone is colder than I can imagine right now.
Someone has completely lost hope, right now.
Someone has become an orphan, right now.
Someone has been falsely imprisoned, right now.
Someone is being persecuted for their beliefs, right now.
Someone is being persecuted for their lifestyle choices, right now.
Someone is lost, right now.
Somewhere. Someone. Is hurting. Right now.
Even as I sit in silence letting this truth run over me like a waterfall, I have dry eyes. I have no tears. I am apathetic to their plight. It is just the way our world is right now, praise that it’s no one I know…. or at least I don’t know about it at the moment. I cannot sit in vigil with The Comforter. The Healer. The Protector. Love. I am numb. Like friends sitting in the hospital waiting room while you go through tragedy. There are no words. There is no way to feel the depth of their emotion. Sin. It keeps me at arms length from understanding how The Father is grieved when EVEN ONE of his children is hurting.
Selfishness keeps my world small. Self-preservation limits those I care for. Apathy keeps me from caring. Cynicism makes caring seem foolish. Sin keeps me from understanding. Instructed, we are, to “Love your neighbour as yourself.” Charged, we are, that “there is no greater commandment.” (Mark 12:30-31).
My Neighbour is losing someone they love.
My Neighbour is taking their last breath.
My Neighbour is considering taking their own life.
My Neighbour is being raped.
My Neighbour is being forced to do things they do not want to do.
My Neighbour has been sold.
My Neighbour has been bought.
My Neighbour is starving.
My Neighbour is colder than I can imagine.
My Neighbour has completely lost hope.
My Neighbour has become an orphan.
My Neighbour has been falsely imprisoned.
My Neighbour is being persecuted for their beliefs.
My Neighbour is being persecuted for their lifestyle choices.
My Neighbour is lost.
My Neighbour Is hurting.
My neighbours. All around me is this pain. So close I can touch it. Yet so far I cannot feel it.
My heart of stone. My feet in the world. My limited understanding. My conditional love. I pause to acknowledge it. I pause to lay it down.
As those infamous lyrics say, “Break my heart for what breaks yours.” I will keep pausing. I will keep vigil. I will wait to weep with You. Not for my glory, but for Yours. Not for my sake, but for theirs. Not with my love, but with Yours.
Another step on this journey with no map. I will pause for direction in the Night.