(caveat) I think I’m going to work backwards on this one, so starting with where I am now and then backing up to where this whole thing started. Please be patient with me– I am a work in progress and so is this thought process.
Most recently, India has been on my mind because one of Beth Moore’s daughters, Melissa, is in India with Compassion International. For her story, click on the “melissa in india” blog link on the left. Were it not for the droning of the florescents in my cube to keep me aware of where I am, I would have wept at her pictures. The last one is almost too much for me.
There have been many conversations between Melissa and the movie, but the recent interest in India was kicked off with Slumdog Millionaire. I recognize that I am one to be very emotionally wrapped up in a movie. I jump at the slightest provocation and rarely watch a moving movie without dreaming about it later that night. But this one was something else altogether. I was on my feet for a good chunk of the movie, unable to bear even being in the same room when Latika is abused (granted, it is implied but OH MY the implication was enough), when the poor child’s eyes are blinded by a cruel, greedy man, or when Jamal was tortured. This was a month ago and I still know their names. I was told this weekend, “but it has a happy ending!” I can’t help but recognize that for so many Indian children, there is not the hope of the million dollars.
This led me to a frantic, soul crushing discussion with Larry and a close friend. What hope at all can I offer the children of India? Do I truly believe that the name of Jesus is hope enough when I cannot change even their hunger? I am frustrated with myself for even having that question. But a that close friend pointed out to me that the justice and provision I have pictured for these impoverished children is not God’s justice- it is not nearly as perfect and it is focused on the circumstances of this world. God’s justice, however, is perfect. Beth Moore talked about how God’s justice is balanced with his love. I cannot extract or separate God’s perfect justice from His perfect love.
So I have been meditating on John 16:33
I have said these things to you (about Jesus going back into heaven) that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world.
I do believe, and for the sake of those who are truly suffering in this world, I must believe that Jesus has already overcome the world. They will receive justice and every blessing from the Father. He sees them and knows them each by name.
India began to be written on my heart back in high school, when a friend sought to go to India for the summer. She must have already known that the hope offered in the name of Jesus and his redeeming work on the cross was and is sufficient for the poor in India. That same assurance has been preached to me again and again through the powerful witness of those who have seen God’s grace bring life in India: when she returned to India, and then another friend from high school went to spread the good news, and then a couple with 10/40 Connections spoke of the movement of God there, then when a friend asked me to pray for her burden for India, then when our church began sponsoring an orphanage there that takes girls off the streets and out of prostitution and gives them a home, and now with Melissa. If you would courageously considering opening your heart to prayer for the nations, I believe that you will find as I have that the name of Jesus IS the power and grace, the love and justice, and the profound hope for all who are lost and all who are suffering. May it be so.