Friday, November 18, 2011


When we have groups come it's always interesting to see this city again through their eyes. Everyone experiences the sensory overload at first that just can't be explained until you've been here or somewhere similar. So many people, sights, sounds, smells all at once. Some people love it. They love the excitement, the constant action. Some people, particularly artists or photographers, are awed by the hidden beauty in fabrics, old architecture, fading paint on a wall next to a brightly painted door. Some people can't get past the dirt, smog and filth.

But if here long enough most people end up asking this question, "G-d, how can you let this happen? How can you let people and children live like this? How can you let them be so poor, so abused, so hurt, so dehumanized?"

It's a challenging question. And there are lots of pat answers that are somewhat harder to believe when the pain is right in front of you. (I think I've posted it before but I love this quote: "Sometimes I would like to ask G-d why He allows poverty, suffering, and injustice when He could do something about it. 'Well, why don't you ask Him?' Because I'm afraid He would ask me to same question. -Richard Stearns" )

This city can change people and one of those ways is this:
Perhaps in seeing more suffering on the outside than one has seen before we can get more of a glimpse into His heart. He sees suffering everywhere, all the time. In countries where the physical may be more comfortable, He still sees the inside. He sees the agony of the sinful human condition every minute of every day. Where we manage to gloss over and beautify, He sees it at it really is.

So instead of getting lost in the question of 'why' I remember that it hurts Him too today. And it hurt thousands of years ago when He walked streets similar to mine and died on a cross. And I can still sing (as I've been today!) with all my heart:

You are good, you are good, when there's nothing good in me.
You are love, you are love on display for all to see.
You are light, you are light when the darkness closes in.
You are hope you are hope you have covered all my sin.

You are peace, you are peace when my fear is crippling.
You are true, you are true even in my wondering.
You are joy, you are joy, you're the reason that I sing.
You are life, you are life in you death has lost it's sting!
(Forever Reign by Ingram and Morgan)

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