When I made my first trip to Romania on a medical mission, I was beyond frustrated and feeling inadequate does not even begin to describe my emotional state. The needs were enormous and the resources pitifully scarce. What was I even doing there? Who was I to think I could bring hope and healing? How were a few over-the-counter drugs going to alleviate the ills of these precious, humble, grateful people? The numbers of people lined up in the freezing cold and damp air for just a vital signs and blood sugar check were mind boggling. Visits into the homes of those unable to come to find their one room abodes without windows, indoor plumbing, and hardly any heat was heart wrenching for this more than affluent Southern belle.
I have never been so cold in my life and I had on my snow ski gear! From early morning to late afternoon they came and waited patiently. Not a cross word said. Mothers holding small children. Old men. Middle age women. Farmers. Slugging their way through mud and muck to see the “medical” help. Me! I am a nurse! I am not a doctor, I am not a healer, and I had no experience “laying on hands.” “Sweet Jesus, what am I doing here?” was my heart cry for those days. Oh and did I forget to mention, I do not have a clue how to speak Romanian? So I needed an interpreter which only slowed the entire process.
The brokenness all around me was overwhelming. I cried myself to sleep at night. I was super frustrated with my own inadequacies. I was mad they lived like paupers and I would be going home to live like a queen with a kingdom and a prince and princess to indulge. These people, many were the outcasts (gypsies) in even the villages with its extreme poverty, were so grateful for everything but when told they needed to see a physician due to the state of their condition I might as well have been a sister telling a poor family member to be go and be filled and offering no bread to eat. (James 2:16)
Just a casual reading through the gospel of Mark shows all the brokenness Jesus encountered on a daily basis. (Mark 1:23-3:23 to get an idea) I do not know how He handled the emotional toll. He was filled with compassion and mercy and He felt “it” every time He touched someone or they touched Him for healing, for release from oppression, or to be raised to new life. (Mark 5:25–34, Matthew 9:20–22, Luke 8:43–48). The physical expenditures must have been exhausting because I know how tired I was after just three days.
Brokenness is required for new life. It has been said “all new life comes out of the dark places.” Jesus said, a seed must fall to the ground and DIE to make many seeds (John 12:24) We grow the most through dying to self. (Romans 6:4-8) I was a broken soul when I got on the plane for Romania. I was grieving the loss of the officer and gentleman. I left with more anxiety than I had ever known! Anxiety is the fear of failure! I came home from Romania knowing if anything had been accomplished, I was not responsible. I saw miracles happen. I saw prayers answered. I saw light in eyes that were dull. I saw God that week. I saw the image of God we were created in: in every single person I encountered I was seeing something I could not quite put my finger on, would discover was this image of God in each and every soul. Jesus does feel our weaknesses! He was physically and emotionally challenged every day. He did grow weary. He did experience power leave His body as He ministered to others. The difference in me and Christ–He did so in the power of the Holy Spirit doing and saying ONLY what He saw and heard from the Father, (John 5:19) and all too often I attempt to “serve” in my own strength. Mercy and compassion see the needs and must be accompanied by the power of the Holy Spirit. This is how the LOVE of Christ is manifested: one heart reaching out to another heart; one hand touching another hand. It is this love that takes our brokenness and brings forth new life as we share the gospel of Jesus Christ.
When Love Sees You by Mac Powell
Fabric of Hope is a Romanian Ministry
Treading in Thanks for brokenness,