I meant to write this post a few weeks ago when one of my dear girlfriends was home for a surprise visit, because her overwhelming passion and burden for those involved in human trafficing was contagious and intense and got me thinking about the blessing in all that! Not the blessing of being involved, but rather the blessing of being used and affected and moved with God's heart.
My friend Pam is on a year long mission's trip around the world with an organization called the World Race and she has been exposed to some intense situations and environments these past few months that were outrageous to even hear about. We were all just sitting around the table eating a wonderful dinner and catching up and hearing about her travels when suddenly in the middle of one of her stories, just as all the parents were coming out of the room that they were eating in to join us, Pammy just broke down completely! I mean like the kind of helpless brokenness that completely silenced the room and made us all feel like we were suddenly sitting in the audience, watching from a distance, as God revealed to us what He was REALLY doing in her life. The mood in the room had taken a dramatic plunge and her parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles were all semi-jokingly asking us what we said to her to make her cry. She was talking about all the women, girls and boys who have been pulled into human trafficing without a choice and how she just doesn't understand why we're here and they're there. She was balling as she said in desperation "what did we do to deserve this and why didn't they get a choice in the path that their lives have taken? It's just not fair!" As she was crying and talking between deep breaths to the crowd that now surrounded our table, I looked around at her family and I felt like I kind of saw a piece of what God was doing and how he was using her to impact her family and everyone in the room and I realized that God was in the middle of blessing her with an incredible burden!
It gave me another perfect picture of how the body of Christ is working today. Most of the people in that room will never get the experiences that she has had, but will still have the connection to those experiences through her and will support her, not out of obligation, but out of an understanding of how God is using her and a desire to be a part of what God's doing.
It reminded me a little bit of the movie Freedom Writers and that's where I got the term "blessed with a burden." If you haven't seen the movie you should! There's a scene in the movie where Hillary Swank is sitting in her house packing with the help of her father and she breaks down, because her personal life is in shambles. She has poured every ounce of herself into her students and it has cost her a hefty personal fine. She's crying as she talks to her dad and he says, "you have been blessed with a burden my dear" and then something about being the proudest father in the world or something like that : ) He says that most people don't ever get the chance in life to impact people the way she is doing and to make a real difference and that he was so proud of her. So, this got me thinking about something, which is totally going to give the movie away, so don't read any further if you haven't seen it yet : ) It got me thinking about how God uses single people in incredible ways that married people could never be used. Basically, she was so involved in teaching that her marriage fell apart and ended in divorce. Now, I kinda liked this picture. It was completely depressing, because you don't ever want bad things to happen to good people, but it was realistic and made sense. I'm not at all saying that marriage is bad or that single is better than married, but just that there are benefits to both, but in completely different ways. No married woman could pour her heart into something like Hillary Swank does and expect to have life outside of that.
I think that sometimes God gives people a burden that allows them to experience him in an incredibly unique and powerful way and could best be done in singleness. Not completely alone, but without the responsibility and necessity of time that is needed for a healthy marriage. Again, I am not putting down marriage, because I believe a healthy marriage is a STRONG witness, especially in America where the divorce rate for Christians and non-Christians alike is about 50%. I am just saying that I think singleness is a blessing that comes alongside the blessing of many great burdens.
Which brings me to my last thought: What is my burden? What gets me crying out in desperation for God's presence? I may get married one day, but in the mean time how could I allow God to be using me more in this present time of singleness and complete freedom of spontaneity?
hmm... I'm not sure that I have one overwhelming burden, but give me MORE Lord! Teach my heart to beat with Yours and open my eyes to move with YOUR impulses. Thank you Pam for sharing your heart with us and for leading us with how you are following the Lord's leading in your life.