Congested. Coughing. Crusty-eyed. When I first met the morning, my alarm had not yet gone off, and the earliest call to prayer from the mosque was still unheard. My sore throat had woken me up to see if I would go get it a hot cup of tea. I refused, pulled the tissues closer, and returned eventually to something that resembled sleep. On the way, I wondered where the young Syrian refugees I met earlier that day recover when they are sick.
A couple of hours later, I arose to put on my sneakers, tie back my hair, and move out for a morning with the women from the community center’s exercise program. They had a special “coffee shop” happening. That meant that after an aerobics class, we spent a couple of hours playing games, eating, and talking. Usually I’m all in for something social, but that day, I wondered at the way the enthusiastic sounds of their laughter, teasing, and yelling were amplified in our meeting room. It made my ears ring.
Some other workers gathered later, and with a broken voice, I led them in songs. “Our God is healer, awesome in power…” We prayed for transformation and for healing. We confessed our longing– and our impatience– for His kingdom to come in our lives, our friends, and our area.
God has a history of elevating those whom we see as “weak.” “Blessed are the meek… the hungry… the poor,” Jesus said. “My power is made perfect in weakness,” God said. Those phrases were rolling around in my mind last night, before I succumbed to the NyQuil. Perhaps God was using the weakness I felt to answer my prayer. I’ve been asking Him for vision.
- When I can’t understand the words of the young refugee women, I am weak.
- When I am asked to lead music and my voice is slipping, I am weak.
- When my head rings at the sound of happy voices, I am weak.
- When I am trying to find ways to serve displaced families, and meet confusing systems and my own insecurity, I am weak.
- When I am impatient for God to do what He said He would do, I am weak.
In weakness I see that I can’t do anything– learn a language, connect with others, reach the hurting, be nice– on my own. And when I am weak, then I am strong.