Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Healing the brokenhearted

Sunday we visited a new church and the pastor informed us that his wife was ill, so after the "session" (that is what they call it here) we walked to his house to pray for her. Once there we discovered that she had given birth 3 weeks previously and the baby had not survived. Having lost a daughter myself, my heart was immediately grieved and I felt such compassion for this poor mama. Her name is Janet.

I made my way through the cram packed sitting room to Janet's chair and my impulse was to hug her and cry with her, but it seems that Kenyans don't show much emotion at times like this, and they do not even greet one another with hugs as we are used to. She didn't even seem to be comfortable with me holding her hand as I prayed for her. I could barely choke the words out in the beginning, and a tear fell from my eye onto her hand, which was still open in my gentle grip. I prayed for her physical and emotional healing and with an awkward "amen", headed back to my seat. As we left, I assured her that I would be praying for her.

Her husband, Hudson, walked us back to his church. Along the way he confided in me with a pained look on his face, that his wife did not want to live in their home anymore. She was desperate to get out of there, and he was worried for her as she was not behaving normally. The Holy Spirit seemed to speak through me as I told him that she was trying to run from her grief, but there was no escaping it. She would have to go through it with Jesus, and He would carry her. I continued to pray for Janet throughout the afternoon and evening.

I haven't said anything, but I have been struggling to adjust here in Africa. It has only been 2 weeks and culture shock is a reality that cannot be ignored. I have shed many tears lately. I woke up the next morning sad and in despair...longing for home or at least another home of our own here in Africa where we can settle in. Immediately, the Lord brought to mind the words that I had spoken to Hudson the previous day and I realized that I, like Janet, could not run away from the assignment God has given me here. I must go through it with Jesus, and He will carry me. Then the Holy Spirit led me to Psalm 139, which sums it up perfectly:

1 O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
2 You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
3 You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.
5 You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.
7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.

Thank You, Father.

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