If you have ever become suddenly aware of your beating heart - it’s fluttering, flopping, pounding, breath-robbing, rapid pace - you know how unsettling, uncomfortable, and bottom line frightening every beat can become.
I recently found myself, traveling home from Guatemala with Mae, on a “medical emergency” flight. Essentially, medevacing from Guatemala back to the States because she had become very aware of her heart and it’s doubled, erratic, rate, sieged by fatigue, and frightened by the inability to understand what was happening to her heart and why.
As I sat on the plane the irony of the situation was not lost on me as Guatemala has made me uncomfortably aware of my own heart, of it’s beating, of it’s breaking, and of my inability to do anything about it.
Our very first trip to Guatemala and Casa Bernabe over two years ago absolutely wrecked me. In the days and visits since, the fallout continues. My heart has been cracked wide open to feel things that, if I am being transparent, I sometimes wish I could forget or at least put away for awhile. There are days when my heart just feels too much, when I become aware of what comfortable used to be and what knowledge really feels like. Comfortable was ignorance. Comfortable was ambivalence. Comfortable was caring but from a distance.
This is bigger than just knowing and caring. This is about loving, so deeply, and fiercely, in a way that I don’t even understand and I can’t help but feel. Loving in a way that’s messy and scary, with more questions than answers, and with a dependence on God to hold it all together. But also in this uncomfortable, heart-feeling place, I have experienced more joy, pure laughter, and discovered a passion for something worth hurting for ignited deep within my soul.
“You are changing the world when you are changing one person’s world. Living radical isn’t about where you live - it’s about how you love. It’s about who we love. The success of loving is in how we change because we kept on loving - regardless of anything else changing. The value of loving is in the value of being like Christ.”
All of this comes at a cost. If you are going to give yourself over to this kind of world changing love for one, be prepared. It will not only change their world but yours as well. How hard is it to love, to really, radically, love, regardless of anything else changing? How hard is it to continue to pray when the answers seem so far away and your timeline doesn’t match God’s? There is a cost in this labor, this labor of love. There is a price demanded of your heart. This is not a place where you can join in tepidly. This is not a place where you can care, but from a distance. The cost to change the world for one is all of you. It. Will. Take. All. Of. You.
What is making your heart beat a little faster today? What is God challenging you to say yes to? These are the questions where yes is scary, but no is terrifying. The question may be to go, or maybe it’s to stay. Maybe your heart has been burdened to open your home or your heart, to a foster child, a refugee, to truly love your neighbor in a global way. Maybe your yes looks like sacrifice, sharing what you’ve been given with someone who has less. I don’t know what He’s asking, but I do know that it will cost you. And no one else will really ever understand all of it - the great personal sacrifice of your time, your resources, the energy expended, the fears and tears, the hurtful words of those who question your yes, the way it has broken your heart and given you purpose, the stress and tension it puts on your family, the gray hair, the 10 lbs, the helpless pain of carrying another person’s trauma, the crushing burden and unspeakable joy it brings you. But God. He knows, He sees, and He is the only one who really counts. We say yes, because this is God’s plan. He specializes in the scared, the broken, the unlikely, uncertain yes-sayers to do Kingdom work for His glory. And He promises that you will never be alone while you are doing it.