Today I don’t have any deep theological rambling, political rant, or practical insight. Because sometimes, none of that is good enough.
Today in my Advanced Urban Ministry class we simply talked about reality. Here it is: ministry, relationships, life in the hood, it doesn’t always have a happy ending. While I don’t want to darken your day with a greater sense of hopelessness, the fact is that some people’s ticket have been punched for a long time and there is little hope to think otherwise. Some people will never get off of drugs, reconcile their relationship with their kids or spouse, become financially stable, buy a home, become a Christian, and become a deacon in a church. Some people are too far gone, and we put far too much stress on ourselves if we believe that we can change that for most people. We can’t. Of all the people struggling to keep their head above water, a few people find a life boat, but the ship is sinking; not everyone will make it. It’s not that God can’t turn their life around. It’s not that they can’t come to Christ. But sometimes, that’s just a miracle. And while miracles happen, they’re called miracles for a reason. They’re unusual.
Really though, the hopelessness that some people are in is overwhelming. It’s overwhelming to the people and to the ministers. There simply aren’t words to describe it. And sometimes the only thing we can do is quietly fall on our faces before God while committing to love the hurt, the broken and the hopeless day by day by day. Our acts of love may not make a difference in the big picture of a man’s life, but in a single moment, how you have loved matters to them. All in all, my only prayer is “Come Lord Jesus; come soon.”
I want to leave you with a song that is a great comfort to me. In my brokenness, and in the brokenness of others, God is there, no matter how hopeless, or how desperate. I don’t expect miracles, but knowing God’s presence and love is a comfort none the less.
I hear You say,
“My love is over. It’s underneath.
It’s inside. It’s in between.
The times you doubt Me, when you can’t feel.
The times that you question, ‘Is this for real? ‘
The times you’re broken.
The times that you mend.
The times that you hate Me, and the times that you bend.
Well, My love is over, it’s underneath.
It’s inside, it’s in between.
These times you’re healing, and when your heart breaks.
The times that you feel like you’re falling from grace.
The times you’re hurting.
The times that you heal.
The times you go hungry, and are tempted to steal.
The times of confusion, in chaos and pain.
I’m there in your sorrow, under the weight of your shame.
I’m there through your heartache.
I’m there in the storm.
My love I will keep you, by My pow’r alone.
I don’t care where you fall, where you have been.
I’ll never forsake you, My love never ends.
It never ends.”
Come Lord Jesus. Come soon.