There is something beautiful about this verse that leaves my heart aching on behalf of humankind: The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:14). Therein lies a truth that leaves my heart gravely exposed…do I truly realize that this is how the Lord feels about me and humanity. What is so special about humanity that causes the Lord’s heart to yearn after? Above all…do I believe that the Lord truly feels…that he is not stoic…that he has emotions.
Allow me to back up a bit and give you a glimpse into my findings this week. So as I mentioned in my previous blog (Hide and seek- I found you), I am in a life group which does bible discovery and the aim of it all is to find what a particular text says about the Lord and how it applies to our daily lives. This week we discovered this text:
The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the Lord said, I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them. But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. (Genesis 6:5-8)
There were a few things that jumped out at us as a group and to myself:
- When the Lord looked upon the earth he had seen that the wickedness of man on the earth was great. Man’s wicked heart and intentions had affected not just himself but the earth. This reality of impact hit me like a ton of bricks. I have the power to impact for the better or for the worse…and above all the Lord sees every moment of whom I am.
- ‘and it grieved him to his heart’…Say what? Yes it grieved the God of the universe. YES HE FEELS EMOTION…the worse part of it is that he felt such deep sadness, brokenness and pain. I think what shook my heart is that the text says he felt ‘grieved’…he was not angry at mankind…he was deeply remorseful at the fact that this is how they expressed themselves in the earth. The Lord is so tender…it breaks my heart that he had to feel such grief.
- Then he decided to blot out everything on the face of the earth he created. The Lord in that single moment took ownership of what he had made. In my mind I liken it to an artist creating this amazing master piece after putting in all his time and effort and then having to start over…why because it was not good any longer.
- Then there is the last part: But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. We were not allowed to go beyond this simple phrase…so it kind of left my heart hanging for a bit. Then as I kept looking at the text I kept thinking…this seems like such a poetic pause…almost like a stop sign. Like the Lord paused for a moment and thought…’But what about Noah?’. There is something there (allow me to speculate)…it is almost like the Lord valued something about a man that caused him to rethink the fullness of his need to clear out the earth. What was it that made the Lord be like…’But Noah’. What is about us as humanity that caused the Lord’s heart to pause and find a moment to think about us?
This week as I went about my life…I kept feeling the weight of my actions. The weight of the Lord seeing me and having emotions about my actions, my words. Like he sees me and he notices the intentions of my heart. Yesterday I was at the train station…milling around and scavenging for lunch…when this old homeless man walks up to me and asks me money for lunch. First, I was about to avert my gaze and then decided to grab the lowest bill in my wallet (not a proud moment) and as I reach for it and handed it to him, I felt the Lord prompt me to buy him lunch too. I kept feeling the Holy Spirit prompt me with this thought ‘He is worth so much more Deidre´’. Then I asked him his name to which he replied Rob, so I asked him what he wanted for lunch…then we proceeded to walk to the McDonalds as he wanted a meal from there. We made some small talk and I asked him where he was off to and he was like ‘anywhere really where I can find food’…ugh this reality hit me hard…this man was so lost and just wandering the streets…I kept thinking how he once belonged to a family, how he could be someones dad or grandpa…yet to the world he was invisible. As we got close to the door he looked at me and said that he would wait outside, to which I am like ‘No come inside with me’. As I turned to look at him my heart literally broke…the deep worthlessness in his eyes was so devastating. I kept thinking how dodgy that specific McDonalds looked and yet this grown man felt such shame that he did not want to enter the McDonalds because he felt less worthy. In that moment I felt the reality of how depraved the world is and how every part of who I am will either impact it to bring hope or to sow despair..it reminded me of this: