Lysa Terkeurst, president of Proverbs 31 Ministries had this on her blog today.  It was a reminder of prayer, and of our theme of nearness.  How can we feel near to those miles away?  Yet our heart is torn and aching for these people.  I sit and watch the news of Haiti and want so much to help.  My heart breaks and my tummy churns. 

Be Near

Each time I turn on the TV, my heart is stirred like I’m sure yours is with the tragedies being experienced in Haiti. My heart stirs and I wish I could get on a plane headed there right now. I want to help get food and medical attention to those who need it right now. I want to speak hope into the bleak realities right now.

But at the same time I feel paralyzed right now.

The situation feels beyond me. Chaotic. Overwhelming.

I can send money and I will. But is that enough? As a Jesus girl, is that really enough?

I guess the thing that tugs- rips- at my heart is the strong correlation between what these precious people are facing and what my two sons lived for many years. It’s hard for me to see the kids starving, confused, hurting, and helpless. During the civil war in Liberia, that’s the way my boys lived.

My boys.

The ones I care for, love, buy Christmas presents for, plan their birthdays, and make sure they go to the doctor for even the slightest ailment.

But there were years before I met them where they were in desperate need while I sat paralyzed in oblivion here in a land flowing with provision. It’s not that I didn’t care. It’s that I didn’t know how to care. The orphan problem in Africa seemed so big. So beyond me. Overwhelming. Chaotic.

I felt small. Insignificant. Helpless to make any real difference.

I sent money. I sent a few Christmas shoe boxes. But the orphan problem was a far removed social issue for other people to handle. Until.

Until that far removed social issue came to stand in my kitchen one day. Two boys. Two boys who put a face with real tears on this issue and ruined me for good in the best kind of way.

I don’t know what my assignment will be for Haiti. But I know there is one.

Knowing this, compels me to do what I can do for today while I let tomorrow’s assignment unfold and make its way to me. I’m not going to manipulate this assignment or rush ahead of where I’m supposed to go. I’m simply going to lift up my willingness and watch with eyes wide open to see where God directs.

In the meantime, I am praying for specific people whose names I may never know. I am asking God to put a person on my heart each day and let that be my assignment. Until I know what to do, I am committed to be… be available, be aware, be faithful to pray.

Right now I am praying for that young man sitting on the side of the road wondering if anyone in the world is thinking or caring about him.

God, let him feel a rush of hope right this second. God, let him see the next thread of hope to cling to. God, help him to hear of place he might go today to get food and medical attention. God, be near to this young man on the side of the road.

Be near.

What do you feel called to do? How do you feel called to be? Please share.