Last night I arrived back to the city of Cluj and finally found a hotel that wasn’t booked up with refugees, or so I thought. Walking to the elevator, a little boy greeted me in Ukrainian. I smiled, only to look up and see his mother, tear filled, weary soul. She explained some of her harrowing journey from Kyiv. Suitcases and child in tote, she was literally about to collapse. In the morning, I went down to breakfast, the room was filled with Ukrainian language, our home has come to me here. I looked to the right, a man with a head wound wrapped in gauze watching clips of war from his phone while his wife ate, staring off into the distance. I usually don’t take my bible with me in public places, but I took it to breakfast this morning.
As I looked around, listening, taking in my surroundings, I thought, “God, where can you possibly be in all of this?” What can I possibly read this morning that relates to this brokenness? I reached down, opened to this Psalm, and was gently reminded of our Creator’s gentle disposition. I recalled the many ways in which I’ve seen, each day (without exaggeration) the surprising ways of God at work among the broken and oppressed.
Yesterday, Elsa and I were at our end and exhausted all our contacts trying to help some friends that we love at a particular border 8 hours away. The Coffee shop owner overheard us, and we found out they were believers, like Lighthouse Cafe! They had connections at another Coffee shop just 20 minutes from our friends. Within minutes a car was on the way to pick them up, house and feed them. When we reach our end, sometimes that is where God is waiting, ready. When the war broke out, Deb and I were driving in the US – I felt so helpless, overwhelmed, and I prayed, “God, there’s nothing I can do, I have no answers.” In that moment, I heard a whisper in my soul, “Now I can work, if you let me.” I have seen more miracles, more outrageously impossible things in this past week than in my entire life. Truly, God is for the broken.
May the mending ways of God continue to unfold. Maybe we’re supposed to embrace that helpless place of dependence more readily, without needing a war to upend our senses and security? I’m convinced our own grief over evil in this life are reflections of our Creator’s own experience. The world is not the way it should be. We are deeply loved. I’m thankful I took scripture to breakfast. I needed this more than eggs.