30 October 2008

Lights Please...

How do you process heart-break? I don't mean boyfriend/girlfriend heart-break, I mean in the "break my heart for what breaks Yours" way...

And how do you balance these truths?:
1) not everyone's heart can break for the same thing
2) everyone's heart can break for something once they are aware

I have been thinking about what Christmas looks like for these kids. I've been thinking about what Christmas looks like, back home, for me. I lived alone last year and had a tree, lights, quite a few peppermint hot chocolates...tons of gifts tagged for others and a pile of gifts given to me. I went to bed on Christmas Eve knowing I would spend Christmas morning alone, but that I would be with family for the next few days...

Some of these kids will wake up to just another day: life on the street, eating Christmas dinner from the garbage, no parents to give them gifts, or hug them. No "Charlie Brown Christmas" on the TV--or even in their memory from years before.

As I write this, I almost want to delete the whole thing because I'm fearful of being seen as "that guy"...you know, the guy who goes on a mission and comes back to tell you that the $4 you spent on that coffee you're drinking could have fed a child for a week. I don't want to guilt people in to caring. Or guilt them out of living life. (And, I like $4 coffees, so I'm not about to give them up or tell someone they have to give them up!) Not that this is about me...It's not...but I know that the hearts of others could be hardened by my approach, by my words...

But I do think there is value to opening eyes, opening hearts. For the first 20+ years of my life, I never knew (or imagined, or cared) that this was actually someone's life. I'm not sure how I would have reacted to this story back then, but I'd like to think that it would have struck me a bit...or at least stuck with me...I don't know...I've been praying that the words, the approach wouldn't be me--that I, wouldn't be in the way and that I would remember that breaking hearts is not my responsibility or even in my capability...

I'm not sure what I'm expecting from this post. I guess I just needed to "blog it out". (Yikes, that phrase might be worse than the $4 coffee scenario)

5 comments:

neely said...

Really good stuff...thanks for blogging it out!

amy said...

allison:
such a great question... i appreciate your recognition of the "4 dollar coffee" statements. ange and i call it the "you don't EVEN know" syndrome, as in "they don't even have santa in kenya. the kids have never even seen a toy. you don't EVEN know!" statements that people make when they come back from a trip. it is really hard to put into words the work that God does in our hearts when we are exposed to how most of the world lives.

God cares about social justice. and it seems for the first time in a long time, the church is waking up from the satisfied slumber it has been in for so many years. part of your job as a believer who has been infused with a love not just for the lost, but for the lost who do not have a voice of their own, is to live that love out so that slumbering christians see it and wonder if it just might be God's heart for them to care for those without a voice as well.

maybe my words are jumbled or ambiguous. you touched on something in your blog that i contemplate often and i had to respond.

i am reminded of francis chan's book where he calls chasing the American dream foolishness. i think it is awesome that you have taken this time in your life to search out what God's dream is for you.

amy n

Steve Rutenbar said...

you know the path my journey is leading me...an AWAKENING led to simple ADJUSTMENTS in my life...those led to ACTIVATING the stuff I could do and dropping the stuff I couldn't ...and eventually it led me to the point of ADVOCACY...Alli, I can't solve these kids stuff...I can't even solve my own issues...but I CAN be an advocate for the things that break my heart.
Allison, I am so proud to know a person who painfully wrestles with these issues...you'll NEVER be 'that girl'

Jess said...

Allison, I love that you are so aware and sensitive to God's heart and message getting out...

And if you ever need to "dance it out" , call me and we can be like Meredith and Christina!

SarahD said...

You're so beautiful!
How can anyone not be sympathetic?
Thanks for spreading the love!