The five mile drive from our street girls' shelter to the local cafe was especially frenzied that day.
Mongolian traffic is challenging. Let's just say It can make a missionary not very missionary(ish).
One lane highways can quickly melt into four lanes and any display of weakness or hesitation is noticed by your fellow sojourners otherwise un-lovingly known as traffic piranhas .
To keep my cool I let my mind wander.
I thought of my dad back in the USA and imagined how proud he would be of his country girl driving in these crazy city streets. He used to worry about me on the road, even after I got married and had children of my own he'd often check my tires or the level of my engine oil when I stopped over for a visit.
Lost in thoughts of my own father and now solidly stuck in traffic I began to sing the new Chris Tomlin song to myself,
"You're a good good father, it's who you are, it's who you are...and I'm loved by you..."
"Shari," my passenger piped up speaking in Mongolian,
"what is good good father?"
Her question sat juxtaposed against my beautiful life, my kind and concerned father...and her painful story.
My passenger was also one of our toughest and newest shelter girls.
She had suffered in ways I'd never understand.
Her father was a drunk abuser who disappeared before her first cry.
From that first cry forward there was a trail of rejection, abandonment and loneliness that formed a crooked line all the way to this moment in my car. She was on the verge of losing her place in our shelter because of her refusal to stop bullying the younger girls.
She had so much anger.
We were headed to the cafe, just her and I, to talk about her future.
There were two distinct paths she could take. One would lead to life and the other.....
I looked at her beautiful face through the rear view mirror.
She didn't speak English, but she listened so well.
She had asked me what the words I was singing meant.
"What is good good father?"
Why had I sung THAT song? I scolded myself.
Explaining the words would heap insult to injury, and then I remembered I was a missionary.
It may sound silly but often I could forget.
In the middle of the mess, the traumatized children and the stress of it all I could prioritize the cause for the Gospel forgetting that I was indeed called here as an ambassador for Christ first.
Before all else.
EVEN Before the physical needs, there was the spiritual being waiting for a life raft.
I began to translate the words first,
"I've heard a thousand stories of what they think you're like
But I've heard the tender whispers of love in the dead of night
And you tell me that you're pleased
And that I'm never alone
You're a good good father
It's who you are,
And I'm loved by you, it's who I am"
The translation drifted into her mind with the suspected affect, a reminder of what was not in her life, the huge missing piece of the puzzle....parental love.
And then with the help of my dear sweet translator, I shared the hope.
The song was not about a man.
It wasn't about a father here on earth.
"I've seen many searching for answers far and wide
But I know we're all searching
For answers only you [God] provide
'Cause you know just what we need
Before we say a word
You're a good good father
It's who you are,
And I'm loved by you, It's who I am."
And right there packed tightly into traffic we talked about her Heavenly Father THE good Father who would never leave her or break her heart. THE good Father who LOVED her, who could indeed handle every last drop of her anger.
"Because you are perfect in all of your ways
You are a good good Father. "
Before we reached the cafe we had reached the point of our meeting.
"I want to teach the song to all the girls, " she said.
"I want them to know."
AUTHOR LILY FLUHARTY
Two years ago God called me to the streets.
I had just spent the last four years loving on 70 adorable children living at an orphanage in the mountains of Caranavi, Bolivia. They called me “Tia Lily” and the ten littlest ones that I lived with called me “Mami". My heart was filled to overflowing every day and I was at home on that mountain surrounded by little ones.
Then I traveled to Santa Cruz and met some of the kids living on the streets.
I saw teenagers whose eyes told stories of pain and abandonment who use drugs to drown out the pain and hurt. I saw young kids with bottles pressed against their nose as they inhaled paint thinner and glue.
And God broke my heart.
I couldn’t get these boys out of my head.
“How can I help these kids?” I prayed.
These kids weren’t like the little ones I had been loving on.
I knew nothing about how to help these children.
I saw their worn faces and scar covered arms and my heart broke.
And God began to grow a love in my heart for these precious kids.
I couldn’t take away the years of pain these kids have endured.
I couldn’t erase the scars telling stories of abuse.
I couldn’t fill the emptiness of their eyes.
Yet as I looked and saw these kids, God showed me hope.
I saw myself in these beautiful yet scarred children.
I saw myself lost and hopeless…
and I saw how God met me in my brokenness and gave me hope.
I was reminded how He redeemed my life from the darkness and filled me with Himself.
And as I look at the beauty of what Christ has done for me,
I see the faces of the boys God is calling me to love and I hear Him saying,
“See what I did for you?
See where I brought you out of?
This is my heart for these lost and hurting boys.
They NEED to know me.
They NEED to know my love.”
There is an urgency to this love.
So even when I feel overwhelmed by the reality of the scars that are deep in their hearts,
And I feel insufficient…
I hear God whisper,
Love these children.
Love them in their pain and sorrow.
Love them even if they seem unlovable.
For these are my little ones.”
“Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut… I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name… and I will make them come and bow down before your feet and they will learn that I have loved you.”
The door is already open.
We cannot shrink back in fear.
See the love the Father has given you.
See what He has saved you from!
He wants to pour that love out on the lost sheep of His fold.
“I will make them come!” Says the Lord.
Please see these children.
See their scars.
See their pain.
Don’t look away.
Please let your heart break for them.
And let God grow a love for these boys.
Stories From The Past
Who Writes The Stories?