Saturday, March 10

Romans 8 & Isaiah 65

I can be easily overwhelmed with the brokenness of this place. Children beg on the street. Malnourished, shoeless, and hungry, hands outstretched just so. Their little wrists turn upwards, opening their little palms so automatically, so mechanically, so rehearsed.

And my heart breaks.

I see poverty around every corner. A young woman greets us on the street and invites us to see her home. Mary. Her shirt is stained from lactation. She cannot be more than 18 years old. Up a hill, through the bushes, under barbed wire, to a shack the size of a closet. Flies everywhere. Mary points to a small wooden bench for us to sit. I am not sure the rickety bench will hold our weight.  She brings out her newborn son. One month old. Edwin. She thanks us for coming to see her home.

And my heart breaks.

We meet a kind young man who has agreed to teach us his language. He has to travel far to meet us for just one hour a day, for just six days. He smiles and laughs and always seems to keep his head slightly bowed. He is 22 years old. One of eight children. His father died five years ago. He has held a number of jobs but is not currently working.

And my heart breaks.

I can be easily overwhelmed with the brokenness of this place. Yet there is also beauty. The colors, the sounds, the laughter, the warmth, the welcome. But my heavy heart forgets to rejoice in those things. The brokenness here is more visible, more physical, and more apparent. It’s harder to hide than the brokenness I am familiar with.

And so my heart waits with eager longing for the redemption of creation. For these children, these streets, these people. For myself, for everyone, for everything. For when these former things shall not be remembered. For when creation will be a joy and her people a gladness.

And so I train myself to imagine this future reality on top of the present reality. To overlay the brokenness that my eyes see with the beauty and joy and hope that my soul knows will come. 

Romans 8:18-25
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Isaiah 65: 17
“For behold, I create new heavens
And a new earth,
And the former things shall not be remembered
Or come into mind.
But be glad and rejoice forever
In that which I create;
For behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy,
And her people to be a gladness.
I will rejoice in Jerusalem
And be glad in my people;
No more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping
And the cry of the distress.
No more shall there be in it
An infant who lives but a few days,
Or an old man who does not fill out his days,
For the young man shall die a hundred years old,
And the sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed.
They shall build houses and inhabit  them;
They shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
They shall not build and another inhabit;
They shall not plant and another eat;
For like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be,
And my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
They shall not labor in vain
Or bear children for calamity,
For they shall be the offspring of the blessed of the LORD,
And their descendants with them.
Before they call I will answer;
While they are yet speaking I will hear.
The wolf and the lamb shall graze together;
The lion shall eat straw like the ox,
And dust shall be the serpent’s food.
They shall not hurt or destroy
In all my holy mountain,”
Says the LORD.


  1. Ah Beautifully written Erin. Praying!

  2. Anonymous3/11/2012

    Heart Breakingly beautiful post. Thought provoking, prayer provoking.
    Praise to The Almighty One, for HE has done great things that our eyes can not yet see.
    mary schmerker

  3. Copying and pasting this now, in order to use it when I teach on glorification either in tonight's class or next time we meet at Biola.