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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

It's Time

Editorial Note: A sentence of this post referencing a celebrity death has been edited to change the tone from an {unintended) offensive tone.
I'm a mess tonight.

I cannot get past the images that are seared into my mind: Babies being held by evil men, ready to be buried alive. Mothers sobbing as they cradle their children in their arms, fearful that it will be the last time. Angry men holding weapons in one hand and severed heads in another.

I can't seem to stop crying tonight, even though my own children lie in bed, sleeping peacefully; their chief worry of whether or not their iPod will be charged for them in the morning. 

I weep as if I am the mother in Iraq who watched her child be cut in half. I mourn as a daughter who watched my elderly parents starve to death; too weak to seek refuge from the evil incarnate known as ISIS.

I'm angry. Angry at an evil that can hold innocent, beautiful children in their hands and not so much as flinch when they behead them. Angry at my newsfeed that is full of "news" but almost nothing for these people who have watched their children be gruesomely murdered before their very eyes; the children who depended on their parents to protect them. Who were probably so filled with fear as they called out to their mother to save them. And their mother wept and screamed; helpless and impotent to save her child. 

I am broken. 

Yes, I am sitting on the patio of my enormous home, surrounded by the inane sounds of HGTV and the occasional noise of the AC kicking on. 

My husband and children sleep soundly upstairs. My dog rests comfortably at my feet.
The horrors and atrocities I described are happening thousands of miles away from  me...yet I feel like I am right there. I grieve like I knew those babies handed over to slaughter. 

From the time that I was a child, I would wake in the night and cry. I would cry for no reason. I would think of children who were abused. Of children whose lives were ended before they had a chance. I would cry for the evil in the world and for the innocents who would have to suffer under it. 

I didn't know it at the time, but the tears that flowed so easily from my eyes--which seemed to me then and even now as a curse-- are one of the Spiritual gifts God has given me.
One of my Spiritual Gifts (as I recently discovered) is Mercy.

Mercy.

Mercy is defined by Merriam-Websters online as kindness or help given to those who are in a very bad or desperate situation. 

There is no better living example of that definition than the Iraqi people today.

It's surreal as I watch my Facebook newsfeed: a post about a tragic celebrity death. A post about wine. A post about someone's vacation. A post about someone's business. A post about a yoga class...

And I realize...life goes on. 

Not everyone is cut to the quick with what is happening like I am. 

And you know what?

My own husband looks at me with mild concern while I cry tears that don't make sense over people I've never met in a land I've never visited. 

And that's ok. 

It really is. 

Because we won't all be at the same place in our journeys...or even on the same journey...as others...even those close to us. 

BUT...but if what I am saying to you tonight makes sense...if you have felt the same weight on your shoulders as I have...please join me. 

Join me in throwing myself to the ground--on  my face--before God to pray for these people. 
I believe--with everything in me--that because I feel so drawn to these people and their dire situation--that I am CALLED to be in prayer for them. I am CALLED to be on my knees--literally--not just poetic license for the sake of making a point in this post--before God. 

I believe I have been called and commissioned to act in intercession for these people. 

If you feel the same, join me tomorrow for a fast in honor of the people of Iraq and the people of Israel who are being persecuted because they love God. I will be fasting from morning until dinner. I will break the fast with dinner. During  the day, I will pray as I'm moved for the persecuted individuals: The Iraqis, the Israelites, Pastor Saeed-who is being held prisoner in Iran for His Christian faith. I will also pray at breakfast and lunch time in lieu of eating.

Usually I would hesitate to announce a fast because I believe that God calls us to act in secret when we do such things, but I am looking for numbers. Join me. Let's storm the gates of Heaven with our pleas for these people. Let's show God we mean business by sacrificing 2 meals in solidarity with our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ. 

Let's not let another mother's tears for her murdered baby be in vain. Let's go before the Throne for her, when she is too weak to do so herself. 

And let's remember who wins the battle in the end: God does.

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