In the middle of my conversation with Michael (yes, that is his name) at the Atlanta Airport, he confessed to me that after being treated like less than a human being by the Baptist mission worker that very evening, he went to the bar.
“Not only did I go to a bar, but I had three beers. What is wrong with me? I still thought drinking would fix everything.”
He ran a hand through his hair in frustration and looking at the ground told me, “What does God think of me after doing that?”
I didn’t answer him until he looked back up at me. Then looking him in the eyes, I told him, “Michael, we all try to dull the pain of life in different ways. You having three beers or me pulling my hair or running away from life are no different. Both of us are trying to find comfort in something other than Jesus. My running from situations or not talking are just as much of a sin as your having a beer—if we are using these things to mask pain. Both of us are looking to something other than Jesus to heal our broken hearts.”
And one month later, I still pray that Michael is running to Jesus with the pain and sorrow of life. I pray he is pouring out his heart to God, and finding in Him the deepest peace and greatest hope ever. I pray he learns to turn to Jesus far quicker than I do. And I hope he continues to find in Jesus the answer to every question, the balm to every wound, and the comfort for every sorrow.
I pray Jesus fills the empty caverns of his heart with his beautiful, precious, never-failing love and faithfulness.
And for myself, I pray that the running from life will be over. I pray that I will find the courage to pull the mask down and quit pretending that everything is fine. May I quit trying to bandage my own hurts, and instead, run to Jesus with my brokenness.
Broken hearts are only safe in the hands of Jesus. Our hearts are made for Him.