Friday, May 9, 2014

one more plate

There are things to get excited about in South Africa.

There are families extending themselves to orphans.
There are orphans learning they are part of a bigger Family.
There are former hopeless and homeless mothers speaking dreams into existence.
There is a Texas girl learning how to cram her cottage, her Condor and the condition of her heart with True Love and the happiness of her Creator.

He says that if you do good with the little He’s entrusted you with, He’ll give you more.

He let the sin of the entire world pierce His hands so ours would be worthy to hold that “more”. He doesn’t say all that much about what that extra weight, that extra “entrusting” is going to feel like in our little human hands.

Hands that hold, grasp, reach, grab, clench, drop, and rise.

Yesterday was a day that reminded me about the burden and the make-me-raging-madness of being born into a place like this. Into the circumstances that they were born into. Yesterday my hands clenched and reached.

A police officer keeps calling me regarding the assault of my friend.
A baby waits in a hospital four hours from home, alone and unvisited, because of the staff’s mistakes.
A mother gets too overwhelmed by her body, her circumstances and her babies to keep any of them healthy or well.
A young woman gets cornered and mocked for having HIV.

And, then, I visited Busi.

I thought it’d be a fresh breath after a hard day of South Africa’s broken-hearted realities. Busi always smiles. I was ready to hug and to show off her hopefulness to a visiting team at Ten Thousand Homes.

We built Busi’s house in 2011, and she’s an all-the-time part of my life.

As we sat on that veranda, I asked her if she would mind sharing part of her story so the team could hear how far she’s come.

Busi broke. Tears flowed.

 Surrounded by listening ears and helping hands that represented six nations, Busi’s hands shook as she wiped her lament onto her crisp, clean school shirt. From behind that uniform, Busi exposed her soul.

“I am an orphan. I have no family except my brother and my child. Not even an auntie. There is no one. There’s no one else. Every night, when I go to sleep, I pray that God would give me enough food for tomorrow. I go to bed hungry. And I just pray for enough food for tomorrow.”

Our hands ended up on Busi that day praying, begging, and interceding.

Open palms pressed on her back and prayed in a host of languages.

Open hands felt empty in that moment.

Just an hour before, all of our hands, including Busi’s, had been an assembly line passing plates of warm, delicious food to 300 children.

But, right then and there, Busi wept as she wondered where the next one was coming. And I wondered how we can do “enough”.

How can we keep mouths full?
How can we keep enough plates in our hands?
How can He say He’ll give us “more”?

And do we keep our hands full or empty?

Pressed into prayer or passing plates?

I don’t know.

But I know the Hands that behold.
His hands reached for the unclean, washed the feet of the broken and betraying, grasped onto a cross, and opened wide to receive the burden.

Those same hands broke bread when there wasn’t enough, blessed it, and put it into the hands of His broken and betraying buddies. He entrusted his disciples, who grabbed and clenched as much as I do. And He made “more” in their hands.

He made leftovers.

I went to bed last night crying for just one more plate. One more plate for Busi.

But, today, my Daily Bread reminds me that, in His hands, there are leftovers.

I don’t always know what to do with my hands. So, tonight, lets reach for His.
For Busi, and for all the others. For leftovers.

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