My kids are growing up. They have been breaking things since they were very young. The baby broke our DVD player a couple months ago. My second born took a toy apart earlier this week. Today I saw the youngest girl trying to put a pair of play shoes back together.
So far I have been able to fix most of the things they break, but they have started to try and fix it on their own. Most of the time they are trying to hide it from me, but occasionally they are trying to emulate me. One of the other kids will break something so the older two try to fix it for them. As far as I know they haven’t been all that successful yet, but I only get to see the failed attempts so who knows.
Tuesday Kathy (@katdish) wrote a post on patience that was … disturbing? Well, frustrating at least. Her post wasn’t frustrating so much as the truth within it and how impotent it makes so many of us feel.
Wednesday Kathy and I tweeted back and forth for a bit about what we can do for people stuck in abusive situations. For me I am bound by law when it comes to minors. If I suspect abuse of someone under the age of 18 I have to report it to the state. I don’t get the luxury of trying to decide if it is abuse or a teen spouting off. I have to call it in and let the state sort it out. I’ve had to do this twice but in both situations nothing happened. In one of the situations I really didn’t feel that the call was warranted, but in the other I feel that abuse was happening.
I don’t know what kind of follow-up happened when I called. Maybe they looked into the situation and found proof that nothing had happened. Maybe the information went in a file where it sits waiting for another report. I do know it is frustrating, no it is disheartening.
I am a fixer. My kids know it. When I was their age I started trying to fix my own toys and to be honest I failed a lot, but I learned and got better. As I got older I would see people that needed fixing and I’d try to help. Now I am a pastor and fixing is kind of my job. I see my students that are broken and want to repair them. I want to move the world to change their lives.
Yesterday as I was talking with Kathy I realized something. I can’t fix broken people. I am like my older kids trying to fix things for the younger kids. I see my students and want to make them better, but I can’t because the brokenness goes far beyond the situation they are in. My kids trying to fix things see that the outside isn’t right and will try to put it back together, but inside there are gears that have been knocked loose and so even if the outside is repaired the inside is still broken. Eventually my kids bring it to me and I fix it.
See, it turns out I have a Daddy that sees me trying to fix things and wants to help. He sees that I’m working on situations but He wants to reach down an take care of the inside. He brings new life where once there was death. He makes us into new people instead of just trying to glue the shattered pieces back into place.
It seems like such a small thing, but when we see people who are broken and hurting we have to start by praying for them. Asking for God to come on the scene and breathe life is like when my kids come to me asking for help. He does expect us to be His ambassadors though. We represent Him to the people we interact with. We actually get to help.
Yes, it is disheartening to see people in situations that are too big for us, but it is encouraging to know the God that is bigger than any situation and to be used by Him to speak life.
Who is God calling you to? What is He asking you to do? How can you work for Him right now? What is He fixing in you?