Thursday, August 9, 2007

Sarah McLachlan - World On Fire

I first heard this song in the early fall of 2005. I fell in love with the lyrics, but the video captivated me in a way only visual images can. It's powerful.

This morning I had my iPod going and this song happened to pop on, randomly, and I was suddenly transported back to all the times I'd listened to it, and reminded of how different I feel now.

I told Conor the other day that I never thought of myself as someone with a "ministry." I've probably dodged the word in any capacity for a long time. Not sure why. But as I think about this song, about the words, "the world is on fire/ it's more than I can handle/ dive into the water/ try to pull my share," I realize that ultimately, that's what ministry is. Pulling up the water for someone else's fire.

I've seen those commercials on television about children dying in other countries because of abject poverty. And I've changed the channel because they were uncomfortable to watch. Somehow, if it's a world away, in a land I can't touch or smell or see with my own eyes, I can justify the need I feel to ignore others' suffering. What is it in us that simply can't step into the shoes of those who are weaker than us? Whose heartaches will somehow tarnish the golden walls we've erected around ourselves?

Sometimes, now, I feel like the commercial. I see it in people's eyes when they don't know what to say, or when they say everything but what seems most obvious, most needed. And my heart breaks, knowing I am looking at myself.

Copeland is surreal to me. I feel her moving around and I know, to some extent, that she is living, that she will be, if only for a few hours or days or weeks. I have no idea what to expect her life to look like on this side of birth. But she has already changed me in so many ways. I don't know poverty or sickness or hunger as the people in this short video do. I can't pretend to and I won't do them the incredible injustice of trying. But I do know suffering. It has come to me in a different package, perhaps with a bit more gloss to it, but praise God, even that's wearing thin.

I don't know what ministry the Lord has for me, or for any of you. I do believe that the root of that idea is simply to love people well, no matter where they are or how they look, what they might believe or how they can help you. This is what Jesus did. And it's what He calls us to do. His suffering was real, intense, and excruciating - a word that literally comes from "crucify." He was a man acquainted with grief, as we are told in Isaiah. If He were not, how would I be able to find rest in Him in my own heartache? God knew that sending a Son who was all God but also all man was the only way He could show us - He relates. He understands. Brokenness and angst, sorrow and despair, were not unknowns to Him.

Perhaps the truest and most beautiful gift the Father is giving Conor and I through all of this is the gift of suffering - the gift of comradeship with a hurting and broken world. Pray that we might be sensitive to His gentle leading as we begin to embrace all that His vision for our ministry might be.

11 comments:

Chels said...

Stay strong, sis. I'm reading. And I'm praying for you today. Love you

Laurie said...

Dear Boothe, I just read your post and it is so beautiful and so real. I agree with you. I believe the Lord is working on all of us to find purpose of helping others outside our own lives. And suffering is a big part of that. I am praying that you and Conor draw closer than ever before at this time and draw strength from eachother. I am new to blogging and the Lord led me to sites like yours, not chit chat but real heartbreaking situations that bring me to my knees in prayer for you. I did not realize there were so many people hurting in private as you are and I am honored to pray for all of you. My husband and I will celebrate our 39th anniversary tomorrow and he asked me what I wanted. I told him I truly had more than I could ever want. Married 39 years when no one gave us a years chance, two grown sons who are 36 and two grandchildren. We are blessed and I feel we have all we need or could ever want. I am praying for a miracle for you, in whatever way God brings it about. And I pray for your peace as you wait for September 18 to come. I check here everyday to see how you are, feeling up or down, I pray for the Lords blessings on your family.
~*~God Bless You Big Time~*~ from Ca. Laurie

sharon said...

tonight was "meet the teacher" night at my school. oh, how i dreaded it, and, honestly, still dread the start of school. thank you for reminding me that i have an opportunity to love and minister to twenty-six 9 year-olds in the coming weeks and months, no matter how much i doubt or dread my "job." know that i think and pray for y'all often.

Cole said...

I have posted before and hope that when strangers post, it doesn't weird you out! Your site is truly amazing and how it has changed the way I pray. This is such a depiction of life in the raw and the fact that you are willing to put yourself out there is blessing to so many more people compels me to believe that this is a ministry already. I love Sarah Mclaghlan and especially when she sings "stay close to me while the sky is falling". This is my prayer for you. Just know, as a strager, you are a friend at heart and a sister in Christ. Praying for strength and miracles.
elise

Tricia Darrah Carver said...

I was linked to your blog through my sister-in-law, who by a crazy chain of people, came across it. When I heard Conor's name, I was taken back to Auburn. I led Young Life at Smiths Station when he was involved at Glenwood, I believe. I'm sure we know so many of the same people. I am amazed at how God contiually links all of our lives, even now. Please know that our family will be praying for your family as you anticipate Copeland's birth. As the mother of a 15 month old, I am becoming more and more aware of the blessing it was to carry her, to feel her wiggle, to know her name, even before she was born. Much like our Father does with us. As a mom, I sometimes fail to remember that my daughter is not my own, but a child of an amazing God who knows every turn, every heartbeat. I pray you will continue to find comfort in that God. Please know you have an extended Auburn family that is praying...

Anonymous said...

Someone recently told me about your site. You, Coner, Sellers and Copeland have been in my prayers since. I find myself praying for you and your family often. Even today, I was in my car and heard a song on the radio that brought me to tears and I immediately started praying for you..."Be Still" by Story Side B. It is such a beautiful song which simply helps remind us that we are not alone...and when life is at its hardest that the Lord hears our prayers and is with us. I'll continue to pray.

Anonymous said...

boothe, i think of you when i hear natalie grant's song, "held". it is beautiful. i don't know if you and your family have heard of the group casting crowns but you guys exemplify their song, "i'll praise you in this storm".
you and your precious family are in my prayers today.
amy

Angie Luce said...

A friend of mine knows a friend of yours, and somehow she directed me to your blog. Today I received confirmation of what the doctors had already suspected, that my little baby girl is also trisomy 18, and I want you to know that you have already been an encouragement to me. Our situations seem so similar from what I have read, and I found my heart agreeing as I read through what you shared from yours. I want you to know that when I lift up Poppy to Jesus I will be lifting up Copeland as well.

Anonymous said...

I believe that you are going to receive a miracle!

Jana said...

Boothe, your words in this blogspot are amazing. I am Nathan Luce's sister, and I have been reading your story tonight, knowing that you speak what many others are feeling. Thank you for being so transparent and for allowing strangers like me to hurt w/ you during this whole experience. I will pray for you, for Copeland and for your family as Sept 18 approaches. I heard at a funeral this past February that God selected my birthdate, just as He has already selected the day I will go to be with Him. Those dates were chosen by Him and by Him alone, and somehow I find comfort in knowing that my life, as short or as long as it may be, is a part of His divine plan. . .the same is true for Copeland. God is so good.

Holly Biddy said...

Conor, Boothe, Sellers & Copeland,
I am friends of John & Jeanie Dayani. I actually met Boothe and Sellers at the beach this summer. Since Jeanie notified me of Copelands diagnosis I have been praying for you. Psalm 91 is a wonderful chapter during times of darkness and terror. I think you are wise to be "on guard" spiritually. I encourage you to claim these verses out loud on behalf of Copeland. I will continue to intercede these verses in prayer for each of you also.