Listen to the Prophets

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Monday came faster than it should have. Bleary eyed I stumbled out of the bed covered by a bright yellow and pink comforter and more dolls than I could count. All signs pointed to yet another ear infection so I found myself at 2 a.m. holding her in her bed, propping her head upright with my arm. The pain so intense she could only take breaks in her sobbing by watching Netflix on my phone until the Motrin kicked in. I don’t know who fell asleep first, but I know the phone was just lying there between us when my alarm went off at its appointed time. I picked it up quickly and silenced its tones and found my way to the kitchen to pour a cup of coffee. As I slowly stirred a not-so-healthy amount of creamer in my cup I glanced at my screen and found it open to a news report.

Boko Haram Burned Kids Alive in Attack That Kills 86

Holy Hell.

After I got the kids off to school, I posted it to my Facebook page and quickly scanned in search of more information. Nothing. Nada. In fact four days later I’ve only seen one other blurb.

The rest of the week is more of the same. Photos of promotional messages in Flint letting parents know that they only have to bathe their kids once a week in the orange muck they call water because the grime will help build up their kids immune system. How many lockdowns at schools this week? I’ve lost count. Reminders about how many kids are stuck sitting in foster care and aging out of the system. Gun violence. Reports of a local teacher being arrested for molestation. Human trafficking especially on Super Bowl Sunday. Mold growing on walls in elementary schools. By the end of the week a video of cars driving past school buses, almost running over children, sends me over the edge and I find myself sobbing in front of my computer screen.

I’m a children’s minister and as such I cannot help but to see the very face of God in each child I minister to, drive to school, say hello to in my daughters’ classes, wave at in the checkout lane at Target, or see in a news report. I see Kingdom coursing in their veins and it is what can only be described as a primal urge to protect them.

I hear the voices of the prophets among us. The ones crying out. The reporters. The teachers. The parents. The social workers. The ones kneeling in the dirt roads covered with blood. They tell us what is happening. They beg us to do something. And I sit at my table frozen as tears stream down my face, not knowing what to do. My hands aren’t large enough to hold the hurt of this world and it all spills over.

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

Not with a bang but a whimper.

I worry we have allowed our allegiance to be to political parties and not to the Jesus we worship on Sundays. I worry we fight for our personal rights and not for those of the widow and the orphan.

I can’t allow myself to be silent. I can’t allow myself to be inactive. Where are we as followers of Christ, when the news of children being burned alive doesn’t bring us to our knees? The need in our world can feel overwhelming. The evil in our world can feel insurmountable. And on these days I repeat these words over and over until I believe them again, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

Brenna D'Ambrosio

Brenna D'Ambrosio

I believe in finding and celebrating the breath of God in the every day, and that sometimes a gentle, simple group of words is the best way to reflect the complex and bold beauty of the world. I believe in the fierce. I believe in a generation of girls and women finding their voice. A generation who are the heroes of their own story, who fight their own battles, and slay their own dragons.
Brenna D'Ambrosio

Latest posts by Brenna D'Ambrosio (see all)

  • *slow clap*

    I’m here with you. I burst into tears in the bathroom this week, sobbing for the stories I am reading … frustrated … angry … deeply stirred.

    • Thanks for reading, Idelette. I saw you posted your talk from Simply Jesus….can’t wait to listen.

  • Jessica

    Not with a bang but a whimper. That seems so true to me. Things have gotten so horrific we can’t even begin to process every trauma.

    • I remember reading this in high school, wondering how people could seemingly give up. His words always haunted me, but seemed far away. Now they are closer than I ever imagined. There is just so much.

  • Dear Brenna, the faces of the prophets are in the eyes of your child. Earaches are horrible and seeing our little one cry from pain is a reminder that there is some pain we can resolve, and other pain, we can pray about, do something in our little corner of the world. That’s a good antidote to helplessness. We can each do something.

  • “And on these days I repeat these words over and over until I believe them again, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”” This is what we have to hold on to, because we can’t hold all the problems on our shoulders. What gives me peace and hope is knowing that God is love and while I don’t understand all the evil in the world, I know that God sees the whole picture and God is good. Blessings to you, Brenna! You always speak your heart and you are so compassionate.