Day 13 in the “Wild Kids, Wild God- 31 Days Looking into God’s Heart”.
Four years ago we moved into our current home and it was the first time we had a garden. Some may find it small, but it’s a treasure to us and I’ve learned a lot from the plants, especially my Grapevine.
The first year it produced a few (maybe two?) small grape clusters. The second year I tried to encourage more growth by actively pruning. There were more grapes, but also more disease, and the grapes never ripened. (Hmmm. Is God trying to tell me something?) The third year the vine produced nothing at all and I watched with frustration as it withered from rot.
Im looking for God everywhere/in everything so I wondered... is this symbolic of me? Am I not bearing enough “fruit” in my life? (John 15), is this a picture of the Church...? What’s going on?!
My husband pressed me to remove the “big, messy thing making no fruit,” but I wanted to keep trying, making it personal, ‘God, don’t give up on me!’
And then I remembered two vineyard parables. In one God describes a precious vineyard that He worked hard on. It was cleared, He built a tower, and planted the “choicest Vine,” expecting good grapes. Instead God got wild ones.
“…He looked for justice, but behold, oppression;
For righteousness, but behold, a cry for help….” (Isaiah 5:7)
And then the second parable, this one from Jesus:
“A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’ But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.” (Luke 13)
These parables speak reflections of the broken world we live in, and it seems even if God has prepared everything well, the “good fruit” just isn’t coming. Instead, oppression, injustice, “a cry for help…”
I carefully watched my vine this year and was hopeful as multiple clusters appeared. The color changed from unripened green to reddish purple and I thought this is it! But then I looked closely: the grapes were rotting and moldy and standing underneath the vine it smelled of horrid, rotted wine.
And then I read something that changed my life. (if you’re sensitive or have triggers, gird up, but remember: you are needed to Fight…)
The testimony of a man from Florida, who as a little boy of 5yrs. was trafficked by a family member for seven years…passed around to doctors, lawyers, upstanding members of the community, and “people who looked like they went to church.” Beaten, raped, choked…even dragged out of school to satisfy their evil desires….three ribs broken one time he tried to tell what was happening…
These things are horrible to communicate but people need to know what’s happening. Bring everything into the Light. Reading the personal story of a little boy in a regular neighborhood, a boy as old as my son.. my heart collapsed.
I’m grieving like a mother for her children. Grief mingled with Fury (remember Wildly Loved, Love Burns Hot?). The smallest thing in my day-to-day with the kids triggers thoughts about those children suffering. I struggle to look at my little ones for very long, thinking about what others just like them are facing (pray people, please). I kiss my kids goodnight in the dark hours and think of other little ones who should be sleeping peacefully… (pray people please!)
With each wave of grief I try to climb out by putting my pain squarely before God. (prayer: fancy word for talking/crying/shouting at God–no formula’s or rosaries needed, words not even necessary, this hotline is always open).
Abraham prayed for Sodom and Gomorrah. He asked God to refrain from destroying the city on account of 50 righteous people, and he even got God down to 10 people–that is, for 10 righteous people God would not destroy the whole city (Genesis 18:16-33). But I ask myself: are the lives of 10 “righteous” worth more than the lives of those being abused or oppressed by all the “unrighteous”?
My answer is No and I don’t want to live in a world where even a single one suffers…
For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died (2 Cor 5:14)
So in a symbolic act, I took my ax to that grape vine
With husband in agreement and daughter looking on, I proclaimed: ‘For the sake of the one child suffering, destroy us all.’ I thought of the Disappointing Vineyard parable, and Jesus’ words in Luke, “Cut it Down.”
So I hacked away into the mother vine and felt pain in my heart knowing I was destroying the life in the vine (I’m very sensitive). But also spiritually speaking, I imagined if the world would stop, there would be hopes and dreams lost– my mother longs to see her granddaughters’ wedding. That would be shattered. But I kept my eyes on the one child and strengthened my resolve: Take it ALL Down.
That child is worth the whole world to me. You are worth the whole world to God.
I set my face like flint and chopped vigorously. And suddenly I heard my neighbors baby crying. My heart stopped as I remembered Bible verses about the end of times…
- “but woe to those who are pregnant and nursing in those days….” (Matt 24:19, Mark 13:17, Luke 21:23)
- ..because if God had not shortened those days no flesh would survive…” (Matt. 24:22, Mark 13:20)
- “if they do these things [hate and hurt one another without cause] in the green wood [when all is well], what will they do in the dry [when all is not well..]…” (Luke 23:31).
And again, I was resolved: To end the suffering of the one child, do Whatever it takes….
We see things getting worse in the world, and just like a pregnant woman walks around for days maybe even months without anyone noticing, eventually everyone notices and at the appointed moment it’s Time.
When the vine was in a heap on the floor my husband remarked, “Wow, so much light here! Maybe we can put up something new.” It was like a High Five from Heaven, and I thought about Jesus saying “I go to prepare a place for you..”[where there is no fighting, hatred, greed, rape, pain, sickness, sorrow, death…]
A World Real Love, the 1 Cor 13 definition. A world that starts to be born in our hearts.
If you ever suffered from child sexual abuse/exploitation, I want you to know: There are not enoguh tears in my body to cry, I can’t scream loud enough, and there are not enough things in this whole universe for me to destroy. That’s how I feel about what’s happened to you. I’m your fierce ally and I pray that all the Unbreakable Strength and Power that is within you rise up. Your story matters, your Voice matters and you hold keys of Freedom, Redemption, Healing, Love, Strength for others as well.
Prayer Alert: When first glimpsed the horror that is CSA/CSE and took my first package of pain to God, I had a vision of a big black box, like a fortress. It was too big and heavy for me to push and I knew there needed to be more people praying. Your prayers no matter how small are mighty, I hope you will join the fight! [Check the Get Activated page for more ways to fight and/or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or connect on Twitter @JasNotes
There are many orgs working to help End this Horror, raise awareness, rescue, providing care and support for victims. Here are a few: Ark of Hope | A21 | Love 146 | No Human Trafficking|Trafficking in America Taskforce (headed by @JEromeElam, the one whose story changed my life. This taskforce has a special and necessary division, “Boys are Not for Sale” because many still think the problem is for girls and women alone. Boys, Men and Transgender persons are also victims but shame and stigma can silence men (Prayer for Boldness and Breakthrough!)
**Special Prayer Point: Please pray that children rescued, those still in bondage, and ALL Children– hear kind and affirming words that they may know they are Precious, Beloved, Valuable, Worthy. Pray there are people around to comfort them, that they will never suffer nightmares, or any sexually transmitted diseases (and to all who have, may they be healed immediately on order of King Jesus!) Pray as your heart moves youand believe we will see the End in Our Lifetime! An Infinite Gd did not call Himself, “Omega” and “The End” for nothing.!
-Please check my tags on Abuse, LGBT, #WildKidsWildGod
-If you were ever touched inappropriately, even looked at thus, here’s a glimpse of how God feels about that: Can’t Touch God, Can’t Touch You.
-A Post on The Value of a Human in light of Trafficking
The first article on this blog was: The truth about Children, Little Warriors. I find it appropriate to post that Ode here.
Please note: I’ve used “He”as a pronoun for God, but fully recognize God with both Male and Female ‘identity’–for lack of a better word–, as evidenced by the human race and throughout the Bible (post on that here).