One year ago this week, I spent many sorrow-filled hours walking around this field, crying and crying out to God, after receiving the news that children dear to me had lost the only parents they had ever known. The tragedy happened suddenly, without any warning–though not by any natural disaster or accident but by the will of a government. My heart was broken by the innocent suffering of these children and I’ve carried that sorrow for many months now.
The loss of love replaced by a more institutional care is something no child should have to bear. My thoughts often go to Hanane and Amir and Adam and Sabah, to name a few. I wonder how they are surviving. And in a country where adoption is not valued, and where having no family consigns a person to a no man’s land, I’m troubled about their future prospects.
It’s not always easy to hold on to hope in the midst of darkness like this and to praise God in spite of evil. I find music often helps, and this past year I’ve been encouraged by When the Tears Fall by Tim Hughes:
“I’ve had questions without answers
I’ve known sorrow, I have known pain
But there’s one thing that I cling to
You are faithful, Jesus You’re true”
Praise doesn’t cancel my sorrow or my questions or my anger, but it acknowledges that there is a reality that goes beyond what I feel and what I think. It rests on God’s promise that there will be a time when He will wipe away all tears, when He will turn grief into gladness and give comfort and joy in place of sorrow. I long for that day.
In the meantime, the challenge for me is to let my sorrow compel me to action and to help fix what is broken in this world, for that is God’s way out of the darkness.
..if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
The Lord will guide you always;
He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.