The chemical weapons attack on Syria this week was horrific.
I had to walk away from the news report I was watching with my husband, with all the graphic images of the devastation and the haunting sounds of death and destruction….. and those children…..dear God those poor children! Sometimes there are just no words!
It was too much for me to bare. I walked down the hallway to my 3 sleeping children, safe and sound in our little patch of the world, so grateful for our safety but heartbroken for what I had just seen.
“Jesus!” Were the only words I could find to pray.
What do I do with this now? How do I respond?
As I have pondered this since the attack I realise it is not enough for me just to be shocked and heartbroken by this. I can’t sit in my safety and do nothing. If I want to live my life with courage and authenticity - if I want to be a BraveGirl then I have to push beyond the feelings of sympathy - the heartbreak, and run courageously towards this battle and play my part.
1. WE HAVE TO OWN IT AS OUR PROBLEM TOO
"There is no such thing as other people’s children” - Glennon Doyle-Melton
This is not just Syria’s problem - this is humanity’s problem.
We must engage our hearts and minds in this crisis as if it were happening to our own children and nation. Lean in to the heartbreak and let it lead us to a pathway of action that is appropriate and sustainable for each one of us no matter what age or stage of life we are at.
There is a part we can each play, we just have to find it!
Perhaps like me you knew you should pray, but how do you put words to such devastation and such evil? But at times like this we have to remember that it is not how eloquently we string together a sentence of prayer - it is being persistent at bringing this issue before the Lord in prayer. The name of Jesus is enough!
I have also found it helpful to pray the Scriptures over the circumstances.
1 In times of trouble, may the Lord answer your cry.
May the name of the God of Jacob keep you safe from all harm.
2 May he send you help from his sanctuary
and strengthen you from Jerusalem.
3 May he remember all your gifts
and look favorably on your burnt offerings.
4 May he grant your heart’s desires
and make all your plans succeed.
5 May we shout for joy when we hear of your victory
and raise a victory banner in the name of our God.
May the Lord answer all your prayers.
Also we can rely on the Holy Spirit who is our comforter and helper and who intercedes on our behalf.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. - Romans 8:26
Part of running courageously towards the battle metaphorically is to look for those who are already on the ground and doing it in reality. Perhaps our part to play is to bring provision and finance to those who are already there responding. The Bible is full of stories of people who brought what little they had and put it into the hands of Jesus and He was able to multiply it and bring forth miracles.
As one BraveGirl I may not be able to contribute much, but here’s what I know for sure - I am one of MANY BRAVEGIRLS in this tribe, and perhaps, just perhaps if we pulled together all our little contributions then we could actually do something really significant.
So here is what I propose;
The idea is that lots of BraveGirls get involved but only give a small donation of no more than $20. Yes you read it right only $20 because we want you to be able to respond straight away - not wait until next pay day or plan to give something big but not get around to it. $20 is a manageable amount for anyone and can be acted on NOW. I have it on my heart that we can do something significant with a whole lot of $20 donations. We are a big tribe and getting bigger and we want every single BraveGirl to be able to get involved here. We will announce on the blog and social media how much we have raised together for Syria. We will be donating the money to UNICEF for their Syrian Children appeal.
I see. I will pray. I will respond.
With love and courage,
xx Steph xx