I wish that I could take out my eyes and ears and heart and lend them to you for a minute. I feel that there is no way to explain with words all that we are experiencing here.
But I'm going to try. Because I've had a shower (since the water is back on for at least a few hours) and I'm feeling spunky rather than caked in sweat for the first time in 3 days.
Imagine a place where you had no access to online preachers, or devotional books, and where you were required, for the sake of your safety, to be quiet about your prayer and worship and belief in the Lord.
Imagine having minimal contact with other believers, and almost no way to get advice on spiritual struggles.
Imagine keeping a list of prayer requests and questions, and adding to it often, and then walking to a place where you heard Americans had come, and bringing that list with you.
Imagine sitting down in a circle of people who don't speak your language, and listening to them sing songs you don't understand, and feeling, for perhaps the first time in a year, the presence of the Lord in a group of believers. And you weep in the midst of it, because your soul has been lonely.
And then you are asked to share your prayer requests...and you pull out your tattered list, worn with the worry of your fingers, crinkled from being carried in a pocket or purse, damp from sweat and tears, and you share with the strangers in front of you. All the things in your heart pour out, without hesitation, without shame or pride, with only a desire for a touch from the Lord.
I can't explain it well enough. It is more than I can even bear. Their hearts are in their eyes. Their hands tremble as they share their burdens with us, because they haven't been able to share them for so long.
And then we pray.
Us, these selfish, entitled, comfortable, free Americans...we bow our heads and close our eyes and lay our sweat soaked hands on theirs, and we start out...
And the Lord is in our midst. And we weep. And they weep. And our hearts become one.
And when we finish, there is laughter among us, because how can we do anything else in the presence of the God of the world?
"Who am I, O Lord...that you have brought me this far? What can I say about the way You have honored me? You know what Your servant is really like. For the sake of Your servants, O Lord, and according to YOUR WILL, You have done all these great things and made them known. O Lord, there is no one like You. We have never even heard of another God like You." First Chronicles 17:16-20