You’ve broken my heart. With sobs over my keyboard, all I can do in this moment is write.
I read a story about a mother who walked her two young children and 11 day old baby over the border to Lebanon for help and relief. Alone. Her husband was in another village when she had to decide to flee in hope of safety or stay and face the cobra that is ISIS. A cobra is vicious and hardly ever misses, so she heaped up her children and ran.
I have three children. I have a husband. I just can’t. I just can’t imagine. I momentarily put myself in her shoes and the pain is just too much to bear. That baby was 11 days old. Her body still healing and her mind reeling and her heart pondering this new little life as mothers do. Then to up and run.
The article said she sobbed. Her there with her dusty shoes and hungry littles and I here with a full belly and napping baby while the other two are free to attend school, safe and sound. But we both sob because we are both mothers.
John 16:33“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
How does one take heart, Jesus, when it feels like your heart has been ripped from your chest? How does one take heart, Jesus, when mothers and children are being displaced and lives are being destroyed? How does one take heart, Jesus, when my broken heart feels helpless and hopeless and unable to help my sister on the other side of the water?
He gently whispers to me…
John 1:5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
and then what I read early this morning…
Matthew 6:26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
These children, these mothers are valuable. They are valuable to our God. They hold value in His eyes. He sees their plight. He hears their cries just like He hears mine. And, only in the way He can, He mysteriously takes this heart of mine and knits it to those far away.
I read another story about Hanen, another mother. More tears.
With ugly cry eyes and adrenaline pumping I know I can’t just walk away and pretend I didn’t see all this. But I am just a mama. I do dishes and laundry and kiss boo-boos and walk to the park. I pick up kids from school and make a million messes and then clean them up again. All I can do is pray…and is that enough, Jesus?
Mark 9:29 And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”
The evil that is ISIS is an evil greater than our human efforts can take down. It is fueled by all the darkness there ever was, I’m sure. So we don’t just pray, we must pray. We must fall on our knees and bring Heaven to earth through our cries and groans on behalf of this groaning globe.
Jesus tells us in that small verse the power behind the prayers of His people. The evil can be driven out. The land can be healed…if people, called by His name would humble themselves and pray.
Mother’s Day is coming. A day full of flowers and brunch. Hanen will not celebrate that way. She won’t be honored in a church service with a flower or sweet card crafted in Sunday School. But she has just as much value as those who will be honored so. She needs to be honored. We need to honor this mother…and the others.
And, I don’t know how to do all this exactly. It’s just the beginning of an idea. But what if we prayed for Hanen? What if we prayed for the mother that escaped to Lebanon? What if we prayed for the other mothers just like them? The ones even fleeing and fearing the next day. And, what if we knew their first names? What if those of us who will honor a mother on mother’s day, all of us, would honor a mother fighting for her life, for her freedom, for her children?
What if we knew the value of our prayers as we see the value of these women?
I don’t have a list of names yet. I just have one, her name is Hanen. And, the story of the mother with the three little one who fled to Lebanon. But I am working on it.
Now here’s the question:
If I find the names will you pray with me? Even, if I don’t find the names can we just cry out together? Will you enter into the battle on your knees?
Let us pray fervently without ceasing and then see what God will do.
D. L. Moody said,
"Every great movement of God can be traced to a kneeling figure.”
Kneel with me now... Our Father who is in Heaven,Hallowed be your name. The name that is above every name.We pray, as people who believe in you, your Son Jesus Christ and your Holy Spirit, for Heaven to invade this earth.We ask for Heaven to come down where Hanen and her children rest their heads tonight.We ask for Heaven to come down where the other mother, you know her name, and her little ones are finding safety and refuge.May Your Kingdom come to these places, to the desert, the deserted, the lost, the displaced, the hurting, the hopeless as it is in Heaven.Would you give these mothers and their children bread, daily. Feed them. Bring them clean water to drink. Provide for all their needs, food, water, shelter and clothing.
And, forgive us. Forgive us for turning our backs to the pain when it is just too much too bear. Forgive us for giving up before we even get started. Forgive us for not being your hands and your feet to the widow and the least of these.
And, we forgive. We choose to forgive our enemies.
Lead us not to be tempted to commit to pray and then forget. Lead us not to be tempted to get caught up in ourselves and the busy things. Lead us not to be tempted to talk about the problem and not engage in the help and relief.
Would you deliver them from the evil.
For Yours is the Kingdom, the power, and the glory forever and forever Amen.