People are love’s image reborn! Yet people so easily wander through life unrecognized.
People learn to cope. It is just part of our make-up. We quickly learn the limits of our own capacity. We learn to walk carefully around people who wield power and control. It is part of learning survival.In a few short years of life each person has found their path through the jungle of hurt and harm that is part of a broken world.
People are tough. It is amazing to see the level of resilience and the capacity to endure pain and trauma in many places of the world. People learn that pain passes. People learn that pain can be endured so that survival can be gained. People continue to press on in life in the face of insurmountable odds.
People are strong. It is amazing to see a small child lift and cary heavy loads in the hot noon day sun. Watching women labouring for hours over hot stoves, employed at very small wages to make tortillas, can only be described as heroic strength. They have to earn food for their children and they have built great inner strength that meets the challenge of the day. They endure injustice and abuse and fight for the lives of their little ones on a daily basis.
People are in great need. There is sorrow in people’s eyes from the grind of poverty. There is horror that occasionally flashes as history reaches out its talons at a moments notice. Children’s faces show caution, as they wander with no food to eat, selling water under the hot sun.Men’s hopes are dashed as they struggle with the lack of productive work. Men drown their sorrows in addictions while their heart’s cry mingles with their own accusations. Anger rises, expecting someone, somewhere to act rightly , but few care.
People avoid. I am shocked by how easy it is to walk by a person in need. In fact need becomes an industry all by itself – creating a scepticism that destroys human kindness. Avoidance takes on so many forms. Giving money is one form of avoidance. A small pittance can appease the need for action and allow each of us to retreat to our safe place. I avoid, because the question is so big and the answers are so complex and difficult to find. So we each work away at our needful activities muffling the cry of our broken world. We take steps to avoid – It’s so much easier to drive than to walk, and in driving I have little time to engage with the needy I pass on a daily basis.
People have eyes. It is amazing to me how one small encounter with a person’s eyes can open a universe of wonder. Eyes sparkle when someone pays attention. Eyes shed tears when there is consolation. Eyes twinkle with delight when purpose and destiny is honoured. A beauty recognized in the dirt is forever marked by grace if I but take the time.
People want to dream. It is just how we are made. Little children have sweeping gestures that proclaim their ability to change their world. Little children laugh from the heart in the delight of being loved and encountering a world of wonder, even in the midst of poverty. It takes little effort to inspire a child of what could be. Even the weary adult will explore a dream – if only for a moment, when there is a connection of trust and the wildness of possibility captures their attention.
People are worth loving. It is funny how our own world changes radically as we soften our hearts and begin to reach out to the “masses” -to the most amazing treasure in our industrialized world. The pursuit of industrial production can so easily generate the impersonalization of the people who are its cogs.Yet, as I reach out and touch one human being at a time, I am again reminded that I can not engage the masses. My smallness only allows me to meet one person’s eyes at a time. I am so used to thinking on a grand scale. It is hard to place value on time with just “one”. Things remain, but people move on. So we North Americans love to build buildings in our kindness and rarely actually invest in the fabric of poverty’s heart. Broken hearts can so easily waste the openings to hope that can sound so promising to the wealthy. For the downtrodden, hope can seem an expensive risk when set against the backdrop of their history of cruelty, loss and corruption.
People want to hope. However, the “concept” of hope has little value when someone is in the midst of trauma. What they need is a person of hope. They need to experience a human connection that wordlessly proclaims that they are amazing, that they have strength and creativity, and they are truly worth loving. Hope takes on substance when I am prepared to get down in the trench with them and slog through the mud for their victory. This only comes at personal cost. This only happens when I finally see that this person is really worth the pouring out of my person for their future . This broken world needs the treasure of each one of the billions, whose lives are currently being wasted in the grind of ignorance, poverty, corruption and violent abuse.We need each other.
People need honour. To honour, I must demonstrate that I myself have purpose and destiny. I must practically demonstrate that I believe that they also, have purpose and destiny and as powerful people they can step onto the stage and transform their life. I am given the privilege of speaking identity into another’s being. I am permitted to enter another’s embrace in such a way as to proclaim them my family. I am granted the honour of resting into my need of their strength. Together we can shout out that life and love are worth living for. Together we are irresistible.
Behind all this, I must remember that “I” am people. I am finite, I need you. I need hope. I need love. I can not give of myself until I have Hope for my own future, my needs , my life. Each one of us must have an irrepressible source if we are to live giving. I take care of myself by pouring my heart in to the heart of Jesus who gave himself completely for me. He gives me strength, He overwhelms me with Joy. He creates songs in the night and celebrities the wonder of who He called into being when He made me. His flow is endless and always revitalizing, Out of this place of rest, I am free to be me, while helping to release you to be yourself so that together we can be forever irresistible.
Love calls and it is amazing how people all over the world respond with laughter and delighted hope.