Breaking Hearts

"Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh." Ezekiel 36:26

Growing up, I never really cared much about children starving in other countries, or children suffering in foster care in America, or child abuse or for that matter, children at all. Babysitting was my least favorite job and I'd take a babysitting job only if the kids were older and very easy.

Odd then, isn't it? That God would use a person like me to love children, even be a Mommy at all, is baffling.

The transformation has been happening for around 10 years now, since I dedicated my life to living for Him instead of me. Very gradually, He changed my priorities. Loving children is now the easiest part of what God is working on. The real challenge is allowing Him to literally break my heart into pieces for children I've never met. Then again, do I really have a a choice? Once I gave the reins to Him, it's His journey now and I'm simply the hands to reach out in obedience. I still fight Him on this, even today.

I'd like to share a few of the unexpected things that God has used to break my heart in pieces for orphans. These things are not your typical sad story on the news with the images that seem to numb but not move people off their couches. The different things God has used have been somewhat unusual, out of my normal realm of viewing/reading etc.

For example, I'm typically offended by most material in rated R movies. So, I don't normally watch them. (Not from a legalistic perspective, mind you... I despise the idea that someone says "If you watch a rated R movie, you cannot be a Christian.") Mostly, I just choose to avoid some of those images. However, (there is always a however following God) we have found ourselves in the last few months viewing Slumdog Millionaire, Blood Diamond and the Last King of Scotland (not for the faint at heart). Each of these movies tore a piece of flesh from my heart for children in our world this very minute who are living in trash, being forced to don an AK-47 and become child warriors or pirates, children who live in constant fear of a tyrannical regime, children who have nothing to eat because foreign aid is suspended ... and I could go on and on. If you don't think God can move His people through some rated R movies, then you need to visit this house. There is a whole lotta changin' going on!

If it were just the movies that melted my heart, I might take the whole things as a coincidence. But then, I randomly picked up the book Same Kind of Different As Me. I had not heard a word about this book when I bought it on sale back in January. This particular book has nothing specifically to do with children, but it does speak volumes about homelessness and hopelessness in our country. Next, came The Hole in Our Gospel which is a must-read for every Christian. Richard Stearns, the President of World Vision wrote this book and is donating all profits to World Vision.

In the mix here somewhere was the discovery of Katie's blog, The Journey. I've posted about this before, but I have to mention it again because of the powerful testimony she brings of a woman changed. I link to this post, 'well since you asked' because it speaks volumes about her life.

From Katie's blog, I discovered the music of Brooke Fraser and her song, Albertine. The video is on You Tube here. Here are the words to this song about Brooke's visit to Rwanda and her relationship with a mother, Angelique, who passes away and leaves a daughter, Albertine.

I am sitting still
I think of Angelique
Her mother's voice over me
And the bullets in the wall where it fell silent
And on a thousandth hill, I think of Albertine
there in her eyes what I don't see with my own

Rwanda -
Now that I have seen, I am responsible
Faith without deeds is dead
now that I have held you in my own arms, I cannot let go till you are

I am on a plane across a distant sea
But I carry you in me
and the dust on, the dust on, the dust on, the dust on, the dust on my feet

Rwanda -
Now that I have seen, I am responsible
Faith without deeds is dead
now that I have held you in my own arms, I cannot let go till you are

I will tell the world, I will tell them where I've been
I will keep my word
I will tell them Albertine

Her song haunts me. Seriously. Because, while I haven't seen Albertine and I haven't seen Rwanda, I have seen other things. I've seen what happens in a mother's desperation as she abandons her baby daughter in a crack house wrapped in nothing but toilet paper. I've seen a baby whose heart was severely damaged due to a mother's addiction. This baby passed away before his first birthday; just before he was about to be adopted. I've seen a baby boy whose body still fights to be rid of the heroin that his mother took his entire life in utero. And now that I've seen this, I am responsible. I cannot live the same and pretend that these children don't exist! To do such would be heresy.

Yesterday I stumbled upon this one last thing. It is called the Faces of the Forgotten project. Faces of the Forgotten uses Google Earth to put a face on global orphans. It is a beautiful use of technology. So far, I've only watched the videos from India and Ethiopia. You have to download Google Earth first and then watch it work as you select a country and are provided immediate information about how many orphans are in that country, which Christian aid organizations work there and then videos of families who work there or have adopted from there. Amazing.

And now we come to the end of this treatise... what a way to spend the wee hours of the morning; sharing the depths of my heart with you. Thank you for reading this and for possibly understanding the way God has literally replaced my heart of stone with one of flesh, capable of breaking and being molded in His hands. I've seen this happening with some of our friends lately... hearts breaking, arms opening and people becoming spiritually awake to His purposes. Praise God!



jkuntz said…
Thank you for commenting on Rich Stearns’ new book, The Hole in Our Gospel. To find out more information about the book and Stearns, you can visit You’ll find on this site a lot of great resources and supplemental material to the book. You can also read Rich’s blog and engage in a forum discussion there. It’s a fantastic site – I encourage you to check it out!
Pam said…
Laura, thank you for introducing me to Kate's blog. I can't find the right synonyms to describe what it was like for me to read it for the first time. Potentially life changing - if I let it. I appreciated this post of yours so much as well. Thank you for sharing your broken heart. I have always struggled with the seeming dichotomy between being comfortable and being Jesus to others. I tend to ere on the comfortable side, and I need reminders like these to be broken for the people (especially little people) whom God weeps over.

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