Sometimes a thought or a feeling can overwhelm me completely.
My sister was here visiting for the last three weeks. I loved seeing Cambodia for the first time again through her eyes. We were driving in the city one day when this song started playing and I was overwhelmed to silence as I watched the lives passing by. So many lives. My eyes welled with unshed tears. If ONLY people knew how intensely and tenderly they are loved and valued by someone who knows them so completely.
I think all people; regardless of race, age, worldview, or religion have the desire within to be loved. It is perhaps, one of the few things that crosses over all of these boundaries. My heart hurts for those who feel unloved and alone and not just for the children of countries like Cambodia where the neglect and pain is visible but also for the middle-aged career man in the affluent West who eats dinner by himself or the soccer mom who cries herself to bed at night.
There is a God who loves us so. We have the opportunity in the West at any time and any place to hear that God loves us. This is just not a reality in lots of places in the world, including Cambodia where 95% of the population is buddhist and somewhere around 80% still live in rural areas. I once heard the argument that people should not interfere with a culture’s religion; that many of the world’s religions have been followed for centuries. Of course we believe that God’s love is about humanity and not about religion but following that train of thought; it was astonishing to me that a person would think that just because someone is born into something that they must follow it all of their lives. Do we not all deserve a choice? Do we not all deserve the chance to hear about the options regardless whether our culture has followed a particular religion for centuries or not?
As God is shaping us here in Cambodia; our heart remains the same. To show the love of God to people who are hurting. To show them their value in His eyes. Poverty is not just about the lack of physical necessities…it is a lack of value, of worth. But oh how valuable are we to God. Each individual created and crafted. Each individual in the likeness of Him. Each one special and dear to the heart of the Father.
God, help us as followers of Jesus, to reflect Your love above all else.
“He is jealous for me. Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree, bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy”