Thursday, September 09, 2010

Mercy and Compassion

I remember some years ago watching the news in Australia. It was a short story with an even shorter flash to an image of an orphan in Kazakhstan. The child had radiation sickness. There was a grotesque growth on the child's head. My heart broke instantly and I cried. "Lord, if you would have me do something about this, I will." I had no idea how God would answer this prayer. I still don't. I don't even know how it fits into the bigger picture of what I know God has already called me to.
Where I stand these days, living in Russia again I find myself desiring to be involved in acts of mercy and compassion. I'm not going to go into all the implications of that here, except to say that it still doesn't fit into what we are doing. But I feel that it has to somehow.
I am reminded of a potent Steven Curtis Chapman song. The first verse, chorus and second verse are:

I saw the face of Jesus in a little orphan girl
She was standing in the corner on the other side of the world
And I heard the voice of Jesus gently whisper to my heart
Didn't you say you wanted to find me?
Well here I am, here you are
So, What now?
What will you do now that you found Me?
What now?
What will you do with this treasure you've found?
I know I may not look like what you expected
But if you remember this is right where I said I would be
You've found me
What now?
And I saw the face of Jesus down on Sixteenth Avenue
He was sleeping in an old car, while his mom went looking for food
And I heard the voice of Jesus gently whisper to my soul
Didn't you say you wanted to know me?
Well here I am, and it's getting cold

I have listened to that song many a time, and honestly prayed prayers in response to it. "Lord, what would you have me do?"
More recently a lyric of Bono's has gotten through to me. It is from the epic song "Mercy" which is as yet unreleased (yes, we fans get our hands on unreleased songs), that they have started rehearsing on their 360 tour, and is likely to surface some time soon, to the immense excitement of hard core fans.

The lyric is: Love has got to be with the weak, only then love gets a chance to speak. I have commented before on my blog that Bono uses the word Love as a euphemism for God (i.e 1 John says God is Love). So paraphrased it means something like, God is with the weak, and only in that context is his voice fully and properly heard, only in the context of blessing the weak is God comprehended and understood, only in that context can God be known. It seems Steven and Bono agree, the way to know Jesus is with the weak.

This much I know, I have to do this. My linguistic calling is to the weak and the marginalised. But I think that there is more than that.

I've got the feeling that this chapter of the journey has not yet begun, but I know the Lord is calling me. I want to be obedient. Lord, help me to be obedient.

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