White Washed Tombs

I took a drive today to a place I once lived. Something once so familiar now screams of distance and abandon, of days long past and reminders of how far I’ve come.

Even the sky is dim framing the homes fallen to disrepair, forgotten or ignored by the “noble” ones; still occupied by dreamers or those who’ve given up, a little of both, who am I to say?

The middle of the street interrupted by medians that were created a few years ago by those seeking to rejuvenate or beautify the otherwise dismal. Live oaks and palm trees stand like proud pillars lending shade to the mass of flowers beneath. Anything to train the eye to ignore the reality and focus on the seemingly lovely.

Money spent to cover up instead of resolve. Funds allocated to appearance instead of wholeness and recovery. An attempt to buy hope for the broken instead of introducing the need to the one who IS hope, the answer, the truth.

Maybe that’s what we’ve become. White washed tombs who hide our need behind proud pillar smile and flowery words. Broken and bound within but perfumed and covered by manicured skin and rote responses, “I’m doing great! How are you?” “Blessed and highly favored” though the words lack sincerity and genuineness.

My heart breaks for the broken ones, the ones hidden behind showcases of beauty. Can we acknowledge the need and do something or do we drive by and focus on the flowers? Am I willing to allow my eyes to see? Am I broken for others and pouring out in prayer and kindness? Am I offering my hands and my heart or am I content with the covering?

Not just on the street among the drug bound and needy, but in the grocery store when I see someone who needs a smile and a word of encouragement. To the cashier whose day consisted of complaints and busy people. In the church where the people so often hide who they really are for fear of rejection (struggling with secret sin but too afraid to admit it and find healing)? Do I walk by and join the others, refusing to go deeper into the fray? Will I not be moved to compassion for another?

Am I a white washed tomb, who appears to have the answers but never provides a solution? Am I real? Do my words show the genuineness and compassion of a loving, infinite, savior and comforter who longs to mend the broken-hearted and restore the weak.

Lord, break my heart for what breaks yours. Here I am, send me.

Refresher

Your word, oh Lord, awakens my soul

Like water washing over the tired and dusty crags that shape the landscape of my heart

I searched within and found myself wandering, lost somehow in the maze of my mind

Like a light your thoughts toward me jumped from page, to guide, shining the path toward safety

In you, I am refreshed

In you, I am free

In you, the smile forming on my empty lips is genuine and easy

O Lord, open my lips, And my mouth shall show forth Your praise. Psalm 51:15