Sunday, 14 December 2014

Make Me Strong Enough

 This is a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. "Never, never be afraid to do what`s right, especially if the well-being of a person is at stake. Society`s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way. There comes a time when silence is betrayal."
 I wonder to myself what am I doing here? As I line up to start a race which is the 10.8 km Egg Nog Jog. The race course is very hard, 7 km are ran up two separate hills.

I know I am not quite ready as I have spent the last month dealing with soreness, sickness, and discouragement. This race today in some ways mirrors the race that God has set before me, that is the race to restore dignity to young children in Cambodia rescued from a life of sexual slavery.
I know I will never be ready for this.

My family is ill so today I ran alone, although Gloria took this picture at home and saw me off.

Isabella Street is the first street I run onto as part of the course.
My new winter outfit came about after Katarina`s comment "that I looked like a homeless person" during a winter race two years ago.
I feel my family is with me today as I run.
I finished in a surprisingly good time, my second best ever. Better yet I am healthy and after a brief rest I will start ramping up training for my spring Marathon.

Hello My Name Is Matthew West

Hello my name is regret
I`m pretty sure we have met
Every single day of your life
I`m the whisper inside
That won`t let you forget

Hello my name is defeat
I know you recognize me
Just when you think you can win
I`ll drag you right back down again
Till you`ve lost all belief

Once when sparring with my instructor in kick boxing I kicked him right on his liver. Instantly this seemingly invincible man dropped to all fours and stayed on the mat for a few minutes. He later told me "being kicked on your liver releases a poison throughout your body that initially paralyzes you, the effects last up to an hour."
My last race finished up on a boardwalk overlooking Lake Ontario in Hamilton. In the Summer seeing waves slamming into the shore is refreshing, near the end of a half marathon race, when shivering from the cold, sore from exertion these same waves are demoralizing.

For one month straight I seemed to be on the receiving end of many body blows. Like the waves when the pain would clear a new negative thought would appear. 
During this time I remembered an email I received from a friend and part of an earlier writing.

This email was from a man who does more in one day than I have done in my whole life. A huge victory was coming for victimized people thanks in no small part to him. I was surprised and encouraged that someone who does so much could still have weak moments. These are his words.
"I feel so inadequate for this task, I am not a lawyer, social worker, or psychologist. I am the wrong gender.
The whole time satan is whispering in my ear "you are just so pathetic."
I am the wrong person for this.
I feel like an imposter.
YET... God seems to open these doors, people seem to listen and in some strange way I hope his strength is exhibited in my weakness."

Intercessory prayer: a prayer or petition to God on behalf of another.
I remember a story I read of a young nurse in Cambodia who had a young girl who had been savagely attacked by many men brought to her. The nurse saw the young girl`s physical, emotional, and spiritual pain and asked God to take it away even if it mean`t passing it onto her. The young nurse ended up with a headache that lasted for days that temporarily blinded her.

During my month I remembered a portion of one of my writings. 
In the Bible it says we are to walk through the fire, we don`t run, we don`t fly. Walking takes a long time, and is a slow process.
This is my old writing I hope what I wrote about six years ago took place in the Month of November.

27 km mark the steepest part of the run starts here and goes for 2 km. Whoever designed the course could not have possibly known the way the wind was to blow on this day.
On top of running up the steepest part of the course, a 50 km/h wind was against me as I ran up this hill.
This was the toughest part of the run.
This was the toughest physical challenge I had ever faced.
Many people stopped running at this point, but I kept on. At the top of the hill a strange thing happened.
A woman I had not seen said "thank you, you were the only thing that kept me going." She sped up and I never saw her again.
What she had done is run directly behind me the whole way up the hill. Since I was taller and broader than her I took all the force of the wind.
She only had to concentrate on navigating the hill.
Girls in Cambodia have been rescued from a life of forced prostitution, but they are starting the rest of their lives at the bottom of a steep hill.
When I intercede for them I am telling God I am willing to go to the bottom of the hill to lead them up.
Their struggles are not 2 km as mine was, but they will have to climb the hill every day for the rest of their lives.
They don`t face wind, but they face shame, guilt, and discouragement.
When I pray for these girls I believe God may take something satan wanted to add to these girls loads and place on mine.

Maybe the next time I get an unexpected car repair a traumatic memory is kept from one of these girls.
Maybe when I do somebody`s else`s job at work without anybody seeming to notice, or thank me.
Maybe one of these girls was spared some physical harm.
Maybe on one of those days when everything goes wrong from the time I wake up until the time I go to bed.
Instead of feeling sorry for myself, and asking God why?
Maybe I should thank God, because that day was the day when satan saw one of these girls were especially vulnerable. satan wanted to overwhelm one of these girls causing her to take her life.
But God knew this girl was weak that day and allowed me to carry her load.
Maybe, just maybe one day when I am walking in Heaven I will feel the tug of a little arm pulling at me.
I will look into the most beautiful eyes of a child I don`t know, but she seems to know me.
She will go on to say "thank you for keeping me going." 

Men are the problem and the reason for sexual abuse on this earth, yet sometimes God uses men to be part of the solution.

I changed a few words from an old Sheryl Crow song that fits in with me and other men who have been called to this area of Ministry. Jesus was the only men on earth able to walk freely and purely enough to represent victimized women.  
I do not walk alone and I am grateful for Brian, Peter, Steve, Colin, Paul, Neil, Danesh and many others I do not know.
God please make us all strong enough.

Strong Enough

God I feel like Hell tonight
Tears of rage I cannot fight
I`d be the last to help them understand
God make me strong enough to be your man

Nothing`s true and nothing`s right
So let me be alone tonight
Help me change the way I am
God make me strong enough to be your man

I have a face I cannot show
The rules I learn as I go
Just try to love me if you can
God make me strong enough to be your man

When I`ve shown you that I just don`t care
When I`m throwing punches in the air
When I`m broken down and I can`t stand
God make me strong enough to be your man

I hope the next time I go through such a tough season as I did in November I picture the face of a child whose pain may be leaving her if only for a short time.
I hope I ask God to leave "the thorn in my flesh" instead of taking it away.
I hope my eyes are opened to heavenly realities, and shut to earthly ones.
I hope I endure and continue to run the race set before me, realizing there is a reward waiting not of this earth.
I hope others may be encouraged and realize God calls all of us (especially the weak.)
I hope I stay naïve enough to believe "that one man can make a difference" in this battle against the giant of child exploitation. 


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