Jess, my name is Jess. Over the years many people have called me Jen. I think it is because I have a close friend named Jen. Recently, my boss called me Jen like 5 times. It doesn’t really bother me, because ultimately I know there is a God that knit me together in my mother’s womb and knows me by my true name.
God knows your name too.
And not only that, He knows the names of the innocent and the suffering. I am sure you have all heard about the chemical attack in Syria by now. Reading these stories, and worse seeing the faces of the lifeless children can leave you feeling stuck. The stories and the pictures are nauseating, and it would be easier just to turn a blind eye because this stuff can make you feel uncomfortable. I will tell you something, I work for an organization where I see pictures of some pretty horrific things.
To give you an idea, I saw a picture once of a man whose arms had been ripped off his body. I wish I was kidding. It was pretty gruesome, but nothing gets me bawling like a baby like seeing lifeless children because of a chemical attack, and imagining the little innocents struggling to breathe as the chemicals kill them and their parents watch them die helplessly.
He knows the names of the innocent and the suffering
Does this make you uncomfortable? The feeling I get goes deeper than uncomfortable. When I see these children, I see the faces of Charlie and Olivia. They are someone’s sons and daughters, and I don’t know them by name, but God intricately knit them together in their mother’s womb. They indeed have a name. Where is God when all of these people are dying? Did He just turn His back on the innocents? What can I do?
I think back to the time of Jesus birth. He was so anticipated among His people that the king ordered the death of innocent little ones in an attempt to eradicate Jesus. He was only a baby, yet His reputation was great and His name was feared!
Who are you Jesus that the suffering of the innocent was worth it?
Please hear what I am not saying. I am not saying that children dying is ever worth it. I just wonder what it was about Jesus that made the king want to murder Him, as an innocent baby? I will never understand what drives people to commit acts that make us weep, but I do know one thing. Over 2000 years ago, the day Jesus was born, was the day Hope was born and Hope had a face. And 2000 years ago, when Jesus died and rose again from the dead, was the day that Hope prevailed over tragedy.
I know something else too, that when I see these children in the news there is something that I can do. I can hit my knees, and pray to the One who is the face of Hope.
I don’t know their names, but He does. They were beautifully and wonderfully made by Him. So as much as it would be easier to turn a blind eye, I will hit my knees, and pray that Hope continues to prevail and that death continues to be swallowed up in victory by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Hope has a face, and it is the face of Jesus. And I know one last thing. The day of this tragedy, was the day that the face of Hope wept with the suffering.