I want them to know Him. Knowing Him is everything... knowing Him is a million times better than being cured and knowing Him is a trillion times better than a heart that rarely aches and knowing Him is a kazillion times better than having a mom or dad and knowing Him is a bajillion times better than having a full stomach and warm bed and education and clean clothes. So. much. better.
I am not okay with this earth being the best they know.
I want the things I rejoice in every single day to be the same source of praise and joy for them.
I want to sit beside them in their hurt and cling to the hope of future glory, hand in hand.
I want to be able to cry with them over the hurts of this world and proclaim the promise that the tears will be wiped from our faces when we join Him in Heaven.
Of course I want them to be fed and loved and clothed and fought for and adopted and respected and healed, but more than anything--I want them to be saved, to be redeemed, to KNOW HIM.
I think we are all called to surround ourselves with the poor, dirty, broken, hurting, and sick and if we do, our eyes will see a lot of pain. Hopefully even more than seeing it, we will feel it as our own. My prayer is that we see Him as both our chief need as well as theirs. That we would be slower to prescribe 12-step programs and faster to share the gospel. That we would be slower to hand out a quick meal and faster to sit down and make relationships over dinner. That we would be slower to diagnose their "needs" and faster to remember it's Jesus.
He answers prayers. My heart is in pieces over orphans and the sick and oppressed--He has already convinced me they are worth giving my life for, but now I am praying a bit differently. I am praying my heart aches first and foremost for the ones who do not know Him as I do.
The image of Carol, Lucy, the children that fill orphanages and others I know who have endured such deep pain on this earth rejoicing when they meet Him is something that makes my heart almost explode. John 16 is the sweetest truth--they (we!), if followers of Jesus, will remember the anguish we endured on earth NO MORE!!!! The joy will so far exceed any pain of the times before that remembering it is not even an option. "In that day you will ask nothing of me"... all of our needs will be met, forever. No more hunger, no more sickness, no more fear, no more loneliness--only joy. JESUS.
I want that for the man digging through the trash in downtown Atlanta and I want that for the orphan who silently cries herself to sleep each night and I want that for the cancer patient who suffers alone in a hospital room and I want that for the woman selling her body on the streets and I want that for the man who beats his wife and I want that for for the innocent child who inherited illness in his blood and I want that for the ones who buy and trade human lives like they are pieces of meat and I want that for the 'rich young rulers' of today and I want that for those of us who don't even know we're sick and needy.
So, that's why. No other reason.
"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently." ~Romans 8:18-25