I found out a few weeks ago that I had been selected to participate in a training event (put on by GLSEN and Lexington Fairness) to equip me and 25ish others to train educators in bullying prevention. Today was day one of three and it was intense – a mixture of team-building exercises, ice-breakers, heart-breaking statistics, group work, new friendships, critical thinking, networking, painful stories, and just plain silly fun mixed with tears in our eyes and laughter in our hearts.
Sometimes I get overwhelmed. My compassion gets the best of me when, for the seeming millionth time, I watch someone’s eyes well with tears as they tell stories of being thrown out of families, churches, and homes. Even worse, sometimes I can tell that the stories I’m not told, the ones that hang silently in the air, are the worst ones. When someone levels me with a telling gaze as they thank me for the work I do, I hear the words dripping with unspoken pain and disappointment.
All the brokenness of the world seems too big to surmount and all I can ask is, “Lord, how will this ever be fixed?” Confession: It paralyzes me. Sometimes I come face to face with how incredibly unprepared I am to answer questions people ask me when lives hang in the balance. Who am I, after all? I’ve been stuck for weeks, unable to write, because the experiences and stories I have heard recently have sat so heavily with me that I get lost in my own inadequacies.
Walking out of the meeting space tonight I felt the familiar crushing weight crowding in as the nagging question settled in again, “How on earth are we ever going to solve this horrific problem? Children are dying!”
So I drove home. I turned my music up so loud that I couldn’t hear my thoughts. I went for a three mile run. I hit the shower. I asked God to speak. Pajamas on, hair dripping, muscles sore, I pulled out my guitar and sang out my prayers.
Me: “Lord, how can those who have been so brutalized ever become able to hear Your message of love – past the screaming voices of shame, past the degradation, and past the humiliation which cripple and victimize into lifetimes that extend far beyond the moments they are spoken?”
God: Because my voice is bigger. I shout love louder.
His voice is bigger. He shouts love louder.
Praise Him! His love trumps all. There is no brokenness he cannot fix. There is no wound he cannot heal. There is no death into which he cannot breathe life. He trumps it, fixes it, and heals it. Maybe you need the reminder that I needed tonight.
His voice shouts louder than the pain. His restoration shouts louder than the destruction. His love shouts louder than the hate. His voice is bigger. How do I miss this?
How is it that I find my God too small to fix it?
When we draw close to Him, when we experience His presence and His unconditional acceptance, we let His voice shout louder in us, so big that others can hear it. Darkness doesn’t stand a chance. Love wins. Reconciliation wins. Redemption wins. Restoration wins. He wins, because His voice is louder.
Let his voice SHOUT LOUDER in you.
Be rooted and bold.