It’s five thirteen am, and I’m driving into Asheville. Somewhere on I-26, listening to NPR and I’m paralyzed by a news report that has me gripping the wheel in anger, and tears begin to fall…
The poorest people group in the world, a rural village outside the Sierra Leone on the West Coast of Africa, has become decimated by a vicious virus now known as Ebola. The origin is unknown, and the transmission is lethal. People are dying by the thousands, after reports of bleeding from the eyes and ears, and internal corruption. There is no known cure, and the Western World is rushing to the chalkboard to examine the evidence and find aggressive ways to treat this virus.
The portrait was painted on the news this morning of the children… Imagine you are a small child who is watching your mother cough up blood, until her eyes bulge out of her head. After a few days of this exhaustion, a van rolls up and several aliens with hazmat suits march in and abduct your ailing mother, loading her into a van with other disease-infected villagers. All you know is that this strange scene is burned into your conscience and after several days of no report, you realize your mom is not coming home. And now you (and your two baby siblings) are orphans.
As the broadcast continued, children are being reported to be walking aimlessly through the streets and villages, traumatized by the recent events, and literally starving. These newly-orphaned children have no idea what happened, only that strange men in hazmat suits came in and took their mother away, and now – the widespread panic has seized the rest of the nation, and n o b o d y will allow you to come near. These children are being stigmatized as the orphans of the Ebola outbreak, and fear of transmission has suffocated the region. As they wander, searching for the lowest pyramid of Maslow’s Hierarchy, food and water are not available. And answers to the questions unspoken prevent these children from acquiring sleep, or peace.
— and while I was watching the sunrise over the Blue Ridge Mountains, my heart literally broke for these children! The next news report came from Lebanon where Syrian refugees are being forced to find shelter from the ISIS (Muslim Extremists), and the bloodshed is flowing like the Ebola virus through the veins of humanity like the rivers of the Tigris and Euphrates from a bleeding Eden.
Here is a picture of a little girl named Reem. She is recently orphaned after her entire family was massacred in this senseless [un]holy war. Reem was reportedly stationed in a refugee camp in Northern Lebanon, and a media journalist in passing captured this image: Her green eyes piercing into the camera, and her 9 year-old conviction sought a marker and wrote the word “Love.” in both English and Arabic.
Oh the power of that word!
If only the Kingdom of Heaven on earth would come, even now in this moment.
Dear God, invade us with your tears. Tear down these empires of sand and greed and oil and blood and religion and money and hate and self and the American Dream and all of the lies upon which these self-evident truths were established, to conquer and destroy and infiltrate and assimilate and incorporate. Burn down our accumulating collections of self-preservation, until we see the Rescuer with scars on His hands and feet and tears in His eyes for an unwilling Jerusalem to be gathered… May the glory of Jesus detonate the United Nations into an oblivion of fragmented revelations that there is only One Hope for this broken planet.
The inexplicable mystery from the ineffable Name, poured out at the cross as a ransom for the captives. Love so exhaustive, so intoxicating that the blind see men as trees and stumble in the morning light into angels announcing, “He is not here, for He is risen!”
The kind of love that causes knees to tremble in the collapse, with bowed heads and confessing tongues that there is One Lord, and all of creation is growing for the redemption of His blood.