"And if you SPEND YOURSELVES on 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 continually guide you. 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."- Isaiah 58:10-11

Monday, February 1, 2016

To SEE...

Every morning as I crawl out of bed, the first thing I reach for is my glasses.  I want to SEE, definitely not myself, not at 6am. But, I want to see. I want to clearly see what’s in front of me, and I want to see my people.

I recently read a story in the Old Testament about an African girl who was taken from her village and forced to work as a slave for a prominent family far from her home country. The man of the house impregnated her against her will.  She was legitimately angry and became rebellious.  This didn’t sit well with the missus, who verbally and physically abused her, causing her to run away into the wilderness.  Alone, destitute and heavy with child, she sat to rest by a spring.

Inexplicably, as she sat there, God Himself appeared and spoke to her. He told her to return and serve this abusive lady and to do it with a change of attitude. God even told her she was carrying a son, who would grow to be a pain in the a** (the actual word used was donkey, but the point was clear). She was overwhelmed and humbled by God’s visit to her and His interest in her life. She gave Him the name Elroi, “the God who sees.”  This is the story of the slave girl Hagar from the Old Testament.

To see – really see - beyond the visible, into the heart, illuminating the darkness has penetrated my mind’s eye as I’ve read about Hagar. God sees. It’s one of my favorite things about Him. He sees our true condition, our affliction, our joy. God sees and He acts.  He spoke words of truth, words of direction and words of encouragement over Hagar, and He does the same for us.

Last week, we took Isaac to the hospital. That statement alone is a miracle, and I love that his name hearkens back to the story of Hagar. Isaac is a new little guy at The Shelter.  He came with his younger brother, from whom he’s been separated since they were orphaned two years ago. Coming from a polygamous family, his stepmother, who was also widowed when the boys’ father died, couldn’t care for both of them along with her own seven children. She sent Isaac to live with a pastor, but he struggled to provide food, let alone schooling, for Isaac because he had twelve other orphans in his care.

Isaac had been having some pain and trouble with his bowels, but did not complain because, as far as he could remember, this was normal.  The keen eyes of the Shelter mama found him stressed in the bathroom and the bowl full of blood. She alerted us, and we acted immediately. Thankfully, under the watchful eye of the doctor at Tenwek Hospital, the source of the problem was uncovered and repaired, and he was sent home to heal.

God sees.  He sees His children.  God saw Isaac when no one else did, and He acted.  He brought Isaac to The Shelter. The mama saw him and brought his issues to light. His sponsor and the Angel sponsors saw him and provided the means to receive medical attention. The doctor saw him and brought him healing.  His problem has been seen, known, and addressed. 

Even more than that, Isaac is receiving loving care and his physical, spiritual, social and educational needs are beginning to be addressed.  He’s only five, but he’s so thankful. He’s thankful for food and a bed.  He’s thankful to be with his brother again.  He’s thankful to be healing.

We too want to see.  In 2016, we want to see the way God saw desperate Hagar, the way He saw suffering little Isaac. We want to see into issues more clearly, more completely and more compassionately.  I’m thankful we were able to see this story unfold.  I look forward to sharing what God shows us this year.

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