BREAK MY HEART

The popular song, Hosanna, by Hillsong has a line that says, “break my heart for what breaks Yours.” It’s always at this point in the song where people seem to get really into the worship. Hands go up. People’s faces get intense. If you’ve been around church for long at all, you know what I’m talking about.

I’ve reflected on these lyrics over the years and while I love them, I can’t help but take my prayer a bit further. Yes, I want God to break my heart for what breaks His, but I also want my heart to respond to the brokenness like His would. What good is brokenness if we don’t allow it to lead us to wholeness? 

I’ve seen some serious brokenness in my lifetime. There’s brokenness in my family. There’s brokenness amongst my friends. There’s brokenness in my city. And there’s most definitely brokenness all around the world. So yes, let’s allow God to break our hearts over the brokenness, but let’s also be willing to be agents of renewal when He calls us, which is everyday.

It’s hard for me to reconcile how so many in the church can sit comfortably on a pew, resigned to the fact that they are supposed to be the hands and feet of Jesus. We aren’t just called to believe that Jesus exists. We’re called to extend the Kingdom of God on the earth. It’s a privilege that we get because we are adopted sons and daughters of the King. We get to partake in the family business yet many have no interest in making their Father famous. They seem to have no interest in getting their hands dirty and their hearts shattered for the sake of the Gospel.

Heartbreaking is what it is. I’m heartbroken over people like this because I believe God’s heart breaks for them, too. Just like His heart breaks over the man enslaved to a field owner or a child dying from a preventable disease or a woman being raped in the name of war, His heart breaks for His children who are complacent.

I’m not saying they’re bad, they’re not really Christians, or anything of the sort, but I am saying they’re missing out on all that God has for them. It’s been my experience that you learn SO much about God when you’re amongst heartbreak. By allowing Him to break our hearts for what breaks His, we also give Him the opportunity to fix our broken hearts and reshape them to look like His.

This is what I desire for more people to experience. I invite you to start praying this prayer for yourself and those around you. Let's not be afraid of the hard stuff. The victory has already been won and we've been empowered by the Holy Spirit to change and renew our world through daily acts of love. Don't be afraid to allow your heart break to lead you into action. After all, that's what is asked of us.

"God break my heart for what breaks Yours, but please don’t stop there. Teach me to respond like you would so I can be transformed into the image of Your Son every time my heart breaks. May I leave this world looking more like Jesus than I do myself." 

WHY I WANT TO ADOPT

I've always wanted to adopt. For whatever reason, I have no desire to have a biological child. Having a child is not a bad thing, of course, but I feel called to adopt. Ricky and I had very candid discussions about this when we were dating so he knew this was the position of my heart from the very beginning. When we tell people we plan to adopt, we often get a very surprised reaction followed by a lot of questions. While I appreciate the interest and excitement, I long for the day when adoption is the norm because right now, I'd say more often than not, it's seen as a last resort. I want to change that. I want adoption to be seen as "Plan A" when it comes to starting and growing a family, not a last resort. 

So why do I want to adopt?

1. IT REFLECTS THE GOSPEL

As a believer in Christ, I have been adopted into the family of God. The Gospel is a story of adoption so I don't know of anything that can physically represent the Gospel more than adopting a child into your own family. As you already know, identity is a big deal to me. I identify myself through my faith and the family I'm now a part of. I have inherited everything in the Kingdom of God. I'm a co-heir with Christ. So how beautiful it is to open your heart to a child and say, "Everything I have is yours. You did nothing to deserve this. You don't owe me anything. There's no way you can repay me. Just receive and be mine."

Sound familiar? 

I was recently talking to a friend about adoption and she said something that has stuck with me. She was telling me that her pastor said he wanted their church to look like heaven so she thought, "I want my family to look like heaven." I love this so much because when you're adopting you have no idea what the child is going to look like or where he or she will come from, but none of that matters. Love sees no color or socioeconomic status. It simply sees individuals for who they are. I can't wait for my family to look like heaven! 

2. THERE'S A HUGE NEED

The number of adoptions have declined over the years. The difficult and costly process that's in place is partly to blame, but I also think part of the problem is that people aren't taking the Word of God seriously. A daring statement, maybe,  but when I see God's heart for the orphan and the commands to take care of them, I can't help but spring into action. And while I understand that not everyone feels called to adopt, I do think we're all called to care for orphans in a multitude of ways. Being a part of God's family means we get to participate in the works of justice that He puts before us and our world is full of opportunities to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Church, let's take hold of these opportunities to love and serve those around us and around the world with our whole hearts. 

It's hard to get a clear understanding of the numbers, but according to Christian Alliance for Orphans, "although reflecting only broad projections, the estimated number of orphans globally currently reported by the US Government and UNICEF include: 

  • 17.8 million children worldwide have lost both parents (“double orphan”).  
  • 153 million children worldwide have lost either one parent (“single orphan”) or both parents.

One of the greatest weaknesses in these global orphan estimates is that they include only orphans that are currently living in homes. They do not count the estimated 2 to 8+ million children living in institutions. Nor do current estimates include the vast number of children who are living on the streets, exploited for labor, victims of trafficking, or participating in armed groups. Thus, global orphan statistics significantly underestimate the number of orphans worldwide and fail to account for many children that are among the most vulnerable and most in need of a family." 1

Regardless of the accuracy of the statistics, we must all realize that orphan care is a real and huge need all around the world. It's my prayer that more people will rise up to care for and defend the orphans. 

I want to leave you with a story from one of our trips to India. We visited an organization where a couple has adopted 37 girls. They have 2 biological children as well, but there's no difference in the way they treat them. The mother of this home was sharing with us that some of the girls were feeling a bit insecure and pointed out the fact that they weren't her biological children. I will never forget her words. She told them, "they might have been born from my womb, but you were born from my heart." I plan to tell my sweet babes this same message some day.

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(1) http://www.christianalliancefororphans.org/wp-content/uploads/Christian-Alliance-for-Orphans-_On-Understanding-Orphan-Statistics_.pdf

DO YOU KNOW HOW PRIVILEGED YOU ARE?

 

Privilege: n., a right or benefit that is given to some people and not to others- Merriam Webster Dictionary

I do not consider myself a privileged person. I’m a twenty two year old office manager living in Brooklyn. Most of my salary goes towards rent and paying down student loans. My apartment is modest and my spending carefully budgeted. I feel like I know what privilege is. Privilege is The Real Housewives of Wherever. Or the well dressed lady I see walking out of her Park Ave apartment into a waiting car. Privilege looks nothing like me. And yet….

I know how to read. Roughly one in ten women don’t.1 If knowledge is power, then the ability to read is the key to the engine. How is anyone supposed to lift themselves out of poverty if they can’t read their own name or keep their own business records?

Second, I can practice whatever religion I want, or practice no religion at all, which is more than can be said for millions of people around the world. If I had been born in Iran, Sudan, or Afghanistan I could be killed by the government for expressing my religious beliefs, or any religious beliefs at all.Even many countries that by law allow freedom of religion do not adequately protect their citizens from religion-related hate crimes. A government that gives its citizens the right to practice the religion of their choosing but does not prosecute offenders who attack others based on their religious beliefs, is no safer than a government killing its citizens themselves.

These are just two examples, but the list of privileges I have seems to grow every time I think about it. I make over $40,000 per year while a quarter of the world lives on less than $2 per day.3 I trust my local law enforcement to protect, not exploit me. I have access to the medication I need to survive. I’ve never wondered where my next meal would come from.

Although I’ve worked hard to get where I am, I have to recognize that so much of the life I lead is due to pure circumstance. I am no better, no smarter, no more deserving of privilege than a woman of the same age who lives in India or Bangladesh or Afghanistan. I feel what can perhaps be best described as survivors guilt. This guilt coupled with a love for my fellow human beings motivates me to seek change in the world. But what can one girl do to effect change in a world so full of brokenness?

I do my best to use my privilege to help others and I would encourage anyone who is reading this to do the same. It can take many forms. Perhaps you set up a recurring donation to a cause you feel passionate about. Or maybe you volunteer your time to help an organization that works to give others the basic rights you take for granted. Or even use your talents to work for a non-profit. It’s your call, but a call that should not be ignored. As Voltaire wrote, “All people are equal, it is not birth, it is virtue alone that makes the difference.”


So I challenge you to make a difference by using the privilege that you never asked for, to privilege those who never had a chance to ask.

 

Written by: Tahlia Prindle 

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(1) http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2014/jun/17/literacy-women-illiteracy-development

(2) http://iheu.org/you-can-be-put-death-atheism-13-countries-around-world/

(3) http://www.unmillenniumproject.org/resources/fastfacts_e.htm