Isaiah 53:11-12 (CJB)
11 After this ordeal, he will see satisfaction.
“By his knowing [pain and sacrifice],
my righteous servant makes many righteous;
it is for their sins that he suffers.
12 Therefore I will assign him a share with the great,
he will divide the spoil with the mighty,
for having exposed himself to death
and being counted among the sinners,
while actually bearing the sin of many
and interceding for the offenders.”
I have spent the last few years sharing about working with women facing unplanned pregnancy and how to do life together, about walking out of abuse and trauma, and the realities of sex trafficking around us and the process of learning life again. I often share a small story of an encounter I have experienced but there are so many details that are so intimate that I cannot share. Living and walking with women from hard places has led to many vulnerable and intimate encounters. Hearing their story in an interview is only the beginning and often this entails sharing intimate and hard things. If they choose to live in the program there are many unscripted moments; side by side conversations late at night, memories stirred over a meal, an unexpected trip to the ER, a late night knock on the door when plagued with nightmares, a one-on-one bible study session or process through the pain of an abortion or another painful moment, a teaching moment with their child, the long process of labor and delivery, intimate involvement in family court, wading through their reality and feeling and experiencing their pain...
These women have become part of my DNA and I have come to realize that these intimate, vunlerable moments were a priviledge to experience and they too met me in vulnerable, intimate places. They saw me in the middle of the night, after a frustrating moment with my husband, dealing with disobedient children, following a barage of phone calls or visitors and all that is entailed in doing life in a fish bowl. This intimate "knowing" is for more than sharing a story for a cause, it is for more than even their experiencing a life following Godly principles and rules, it is an intimate knowing that I now carry with me. The first client to the 100+ that I know in this way...each one branded on my heart ,much I imagine, as I am on the palm of Christ. I have this glimpse of who each of these women are and who they were made to be...I have seen and heard and walked with them through pain, anger, grief, heartache, disappointment, and everything under the sun.
I now have this pressing need to continue to hold them out to Christ. I can continue to lift them to Jesus not just from a nominal place focused on the sin (abortion, sex trafficking, drug addiction, abuse) but from a place of knowing intimately each one and what and who the enemy is. This priviledge can get lost in the middle of the battles and the day to day. It is a very real gift and honor to know another person this way. Christ carries us to the Father and cries out on our behalf and we too are called to do so for each other... and no less for the ones who "knowing" us and "knowing" them are not walking in freedom, are not choosing to live life fully....I must continue to press in, to intercede to bring them before my God for I carry an intimate knowledge and authority that comes with love. My heart cry is that through knowing and walking in this pain and remembering that Jesus has gone before me on this path that He is the one who can bear the sin and bring each one to life.
May you carry the intimate knowing you have of other to the cross! May you count it a priviledge and joy to intercede!
May you know that there is a way through these hard places!