13 Aug 2007

A Picture of Despair

During the past month i have observed several different scenarios that have broken my heart. The hopelessness that people live in and the ways they are seeking out of the underground that only lead to more despair. It's like they are lost, very lost in darkness.

When we were in Krakow for pre-camp training one morning i awoke at the hotel and was making my way to breakfast in the restaurant beside our hotel when i saw a woman sleeping on a bench. She was leaning still intoxicated from the night before on what appeared to be a homeless man. I quickly realized that she was probably homeless too. But that wasn't what broke my heart it was the fact that she was putting on lipstick. Rob Bell (NOOMA man) entitles a very powerful chapter in his book SEX GOD "God wears lipstick" and in it recounts a story of the Nazi concentration camps and how one of the liberating troups brought lipstick and gave it to the women. And how ingenious that was... because it was like in a sense giving women back their humanity, their identity, their beauty. This woman on the park bench, i felt that too... that she has probably reached the darkest pit in her life, yet still has hope; hope that maybe she hasn't completely lost her humanity.

The other snapshot of despair i experienced recently was these 3 men sitting on the park bench outside of the school where we were having camp. It was one morning, actually several mornings around 9 am as we were busily preparing for English and to bring a message of 'life' to the campers... i observed these men looking for a way out. Alcohol at 9am in the morning on a park bench, doesn't strike me as an enjoyable experience but more as a desperate attempt to escape... to escape the pain of this life... the pain that is epidemic to the human race.
I know these scenarios are not limited to Poland and that there are people hurting all over the world. I love the message of Jesus... God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him...and "i have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."