I’ve prayed a simple prayer throughout my life… “Father, open my eyes to the things that are close to your heart. To the things that are what you’re all about.”

It’s so easy for me to waltz through my days in a frenzied hurry, doing this task, running those errands, picking up kids, doing chores, cooking meals…you know, that stuff that just HAS to happen every day.

But humbling myself to ask God to give me His eyes means allowing my heart to be broken with the things that are on His heart. Because the things that  matter to God are not the things that I prefer to occupy my mind most of the time.  They are the ugly truths of this life.   And He faithfully draws my busy blinders aside to see,

The single mom struggling to know how to provide AND raise her kids.

The dad out of work, again.

The children with more pain in their short lives than anyone should EVER experience.

The parents who reject God because of a child’s death.

Babies without mama’s to love them.

Pregnant girls.

Victims of violence

Drug addicts, alcoholics, abusers of every kind.

Broken relationships.

Kids who can’t talk because they’ve never known love.

Women who look to one man after another to fill the gaping hole in their hearts.

Grandparents raising grandbabies

Oh yes, all around me!!!   Maybe being in an impoverished small town makes it more obvious, or maybe my eyes are starting to see better, but regardless, there’s no mistaking, God’s heart exposed to me is letting me see PEOPLE.  The ones He came to save.  The ones He loves so much.  The ones He thinks are especially in need of Him.

And I have to be honest, it makes me really uncomfortable.  I would really rather not know about the pain other people go through.  I’d rather just focus on my life, my family, my hobbies, my time, etc.  People are difficult to love.  People are broken, and often not “fixable”.  I like things to be easy, quick, efficient, and in order.  But that’s not this life.  And people mess up the order I like to think I have.  It’s much easier to just pull the shutters and not look out.

But I keep praying this prayer because I want to be in line with God’s heart.  And it hurts.  I feel helpless when I realize the vast need and my inability to take it all on.  I want to save every starving baby, bring every broken family together again,  mend every relationship.   But I can’t.  And God doesn’t expect me to.  He wants me to be faithful in the right here, right now.  Right where I am.

Loving, praying, serving, doing.

Looking to Him for the answers because I look at what He gives me to see, and I am helpless on my own.  But He isn’t.  He sees the hurt.  He sees the needs.  And His heart is full of compassion, looking for those who will act justly, and love mercy to bring His love to a world that so desperately needs HOPE. Because that’s what He does.  And I want to be on board, however HE choses to use me.

Though I’m not packing my bags for Nigeria, or selling all I have to feed the starving, I am praying faithfully that I will walk with God, being used to bring about justice for those in need wherever He puts me in any given day.

Today, that might be loving my family with utter patience, because that’s what THEY need.

Tomorrow, it might be bringing a hurting family some food, and flowers because THEY need comfort.

The day after, who knows.  I’m always surprised.

If you want to experience REAL life, pray that God would open your eyes to see what matters to Him.  I’m confident He will not show you a large bank account, fancy cars, great food, or the latest greatest toys.  He probably won’t even show you an American church service.  He might just show you the backside of your city where the broken live.  Or the high school where the abused and starving hang out, the bar where the depressed sit, or the clinic where the teen mother just got the news.  Or He may even take you around the world to the orphan or the widow with AIDS.  Wherever He leads you, I’m positive He will use You to fill a need if you’ll let Him.  He answers prayer. I’ve SEEN it with my own eyes!

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