Thursday, October 14, 2010

Burdened, by Heidi Avery

Have you ever stared into the eyes of a desperate soul and for a single, solitary moment connected so deeply and intensely to their personal suffering that it left you profoundly burdened?

This troubled sense rapidly swarms in on you like a dense invisible fog of heaviness. The shock of it stuns you into a motionless lapse of time. You know when it happens because as the air lightens and you transport back to reality the only remaining evidence of it occurring is the overwhelming desire to do something.

At first glance you might confuse this aching with guilt because your life seems so blessed in comparison. But, an intentional push past “you” reveals that this experience is of the supernatural kind. Behind this impressionable affliction lies a calling… a divine awakening to address the needs of another.

I personally experience this with the homeless. I have a biting urge to talk to these people as if life was completely normal and an even stronger compulsion to reach out and physically place my hands on them. I need them to know that I don’t see dirty or lacking, but beautiful, accepted and totally deserving of common touch and conversation without judgment or condemnation. Along with their very basic needs for shelter and food is the longing to simply feel loved.

Isn’t it awesome how God has a way of forcibly invading us? He taps into our core, tinkers around and leaves behind a passionate burden within us to move. That’s the blessing you know…

--That He chooses us to go for Him at all.

--That we get a front row seat to His work in and around us.

--That we are an extension of His love for the lost.

--And, that we get a glimpse of Him in the eyes of the helpless.

His word commands us to…

Carry each other's burdens (Galatians 6:2) and to love one another. ( John 13:34)

Some things of God are a vast mystery, but others, such as these commands, He made crystal clear.

Following is another beautiful song by Matthew West called “My Little World.” I thought it made a nice ending to this post...


  1. When the disciples asked Jesus which commandment was most important he said, "love God and love people." You are right. We can be Jesus to those in our community. We need to roll up the sleeves and dig out of our comfort zones onto the front line. We shouldn't just sit around waiting to hear from God. He's already spoken through His mighty Word. We need permission to sit down because He has already commanded us to GO! Love the song!! Matthew West is my hero!

  2. This post hits home with me. That is one of the things I miss most about Reno, is our MOM group and the work with the homeless. The other day I was thinking of our Christmas party when we made the bags and how blessed the boys and I were to hand those out to the homeless people around town. One man in particular was asleep on a bench. I tiptoed up and placed a bag next to him. Most people would have been afraid, because at any time the man could have jumped off the bench, but he didn't. I just had the peace of God with me and I knew that God would protect me no matter who I encountered. I was doing what He had commanded me and that felt so freeing and great!!! I hope y'all continue that ministry this Christmas. The boys and I will do it here in NC. I love y'all!!!! Oh, and that is a favorite song of mine too!!!

  3. Wonderful thoughts. It's so rare for us to connect the grittiness of a homeless man with the Creator God, as if we expect that God requires His people to be neat and tidy. But Jesus was probably more like the homeless man I'm walking past than he is like me. That's a tough truth to swallow sometimes, but it's also great, because it means Jesus understands a hard life. Thanks for this!

  4. I feel pained when i see a homeless too..i can understand what you are talkin abt..ya God stirs people's hearts to help others!

  5. While I'm not a mom, (my wife handles that role, and rather well I might add), I definitely appreciated this post. We feel the same burden for the fatherless children of the world--especially kids in the American Foster System. It's great to read about others, like yourself, who are sensitive to God's prodding when it comes to matters of the heart. Thanks for the post!