Thursday, July 7, 2016

Christ's Heart

Blog post written by Devin Burke
Marina del Rey, California

When we departed from LAX for El Salvador we received a daily devotional packet for the trip.   On day three we were encouraged to ask God to give us the heart that Christ has for the broken, after looking at a few scriptures that gave examples.  So I sincerely asked God for this, because "God knows" I lack in this area.  When I prayed that quick but sincere prayer, I felt a little nervous or maybe apprehension. Because for all I knew this was another one of those dangerous and loaded prayers that God seems to answer with a big fat trial, like the famous " Lord give me patience" prayer.

However, what God had in store for me was nothing short of glorious.  The answer came not in a trial but a simple and subtle tug on my heart that began building when I first encountered the home for severely disabled children.  We were put in a large room where all of the children of the center were brought in for a party.  Many came in by wheelchairs. At first it was a little overwhelming, but we were ready as we knew what to expect.  My attitude was to just let the love of Jesus within me go to work.  I was excited because my spirit was excited. My flesh on the other hand immediately started complaining to which I quickly silenced and put it to death by the Spirit as Romans 8 tells me to do.

My first instinct was to go around saying "Hola" and touching or hugging as many children as I could.  But after 20 or 30 minutes of this I felt the Holy Spirit guide me to pay more attention to one boy who had both legs in casts because of corrective surgery.   He also had a difficult time of speaking and knew no English. With the help of a translator, I learned that he was ashamed to speak with me because he felt he wasn't worthy.  My heart took a huge leap of compassion.  God was starting to answer that morning prayer. After praying over him, touching and caressing him, getting him to open up and feel comfortable talking to me for a while, I felt it was time to move onwards and love on others.
Throughout the afternoon I encountered various children with different needs.  I came upon a boy that couldn't walk or talk.  t found another boy wheelchair bound that had difficulty speaking and started pushing him  I realized at this point all the kids seemed to really respond well to touch.  Every child responded with such love in their eyes the more I looked in their eyes and touched their face, hands and head.  As one boy crawled up into my lap, I felt the Holy Spirit in me love him right back with a powerful Father's love.  It was then I felt this shift in my heart. I was experiencing something new and very powerful.

On the bus ride back to the mission house my heart cried until my eyes responded and tears rolled down.  I had definitely experienced Christ's love that day.  It was then I heard the Holy Spirit say to me " Well, you asked for it! 

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