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prov·o·ca·tion - something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates. pant - to long eagerly; yearn. a collection of thoughts intended to provoke and inspire. these posts are hoping to encourage people to think, especially Christians, and pant even harder for the waterbrooks of the Lord. If you are not a believer in Christ Jesus, I welcome your perspective and encourage your investigation on these matters.

Friday, September 02, 2005

The Silent Cry

If you are like me, you have been glued to the news to what has been going down on the Gulf Coast. We have yet to see the full reality of what has taken place. We hear the desperate cries, the heartbreaking stories, and see the sense of hopelessness on each and every face. And here we are in the heartland of America. What can we do? What can I do? I know that, as a Christian, my greatest help is prayer and second giving (financially), both of which I seek to do. Yet it just doesn't seem enough. I so desire to be there to have my arms as a warm embrace for lonely kids, my hands outstretched to serve meals and supply help wherever needed, and to simply be there to go through it with them. And here I am in Louisville, Kentucky, 500 miles away and surrounded by snacks, bottled water, and a pile of dirty clothes. In me there is a silent cry which screams far louder than an utterance my voice can make. And I believe that there is a collective silent cry from the heartland of America which has been broken and burdened by the enormity of the need yet feel as though they cannot help in a real tangible way. The despairing cry arises from this sense that something must be done, and millions of Americans feel the hurt but at the same time feel like they can do nothing about it. The spirit of America cries with the victims of Katrina, and I find myself but one voice among millions, if not billions around the world, who cry, albeit silently, with them. Perspective has been heightened, prayers have been uttered, and people are being touched. While I feel helpless in regards to making a real difference there in the Gulf Coast, I am comforted that my Lord is there with these people, and most presently in the midst of his people. As the Psalmist said, "I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth" (Psalm 121:1). While feeling the full weight of this cry, it is easy to look down and in with guilt and sorrow, yet we are called to look up. He who made the heavens and earth will make all things new. He is making a name for himself even now all around the world, even in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. In worship to the Lord, I have been meditating and singing these lyrics . . . Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also; The body they may kill: God's truth abideth still, His kingdom is forever. A Mighty Fortress Is Our God by Martin Luther When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul. It Is Well with My Soul by Horatio Spafford

His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.
The Solid Rock by Edward Mote I hope that these lyrics encourage you as they have me. Yes, we cry silently, yet not without hope. We do not face the valley of the shadow of death as though he is not with us, for we know that he is - both in green pastures and in death valley and in New Orleans - and he will safely lead his people home. Yet while we journey, let's be prayerful and mindful that there are many who will perish in "death valley" if they don't find the life that is in Christ Jesus. O Lord, may this silent cry of helplessness make us realize that in you, Maker and Sustainer of all, we have the Helper who can calm the storm and bind up the broken heart.

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