when your heart aches

I am sitting here eating a handful of potato chips at 10:19 pm for dinner.  It has been one of these days that is turning into one of those weeks.  Little did I know when I snapped this picture on Sunday in worship I would be using it to help the police find her on Wednesday.

Words exchanged over a pen in between classes Monday afternoon.  A pen.  Not even a great pen.  Just an ordinary bic pen.  The kind that costs less than a dollar and often leaks if pocketed in the wrong direction.  No one runs away over a pen.  Not unless her heart is hurting so deeply a pen is the final straw of a much greater load.

And this jewel, this treasure, her heart is hurting so badly that when her sisters did find her this evening she ran again into the night.  We ran after her but she disappeared into dark alley ways winding through tin shack establishments.  She blends in and no one notices a 12 year old girl here walking alone with hurting heart.

Police reports filed, it might be easy to judge, to grow frustrated.  Why would you run away over a pen?  But this all is so much deeper than ink on a page. It is the crevasses of her heart that are threatening to swallow her whole into their pain.

But don’t I run from my pain too?  I might not run into the night, but is running into projects and busy-ness, ideas and doing more any different?  Not really.  Truth be told I still run: I just am learning {by grace} to run into Him.

I too am tired and hungry tonight.  Too tired to care much about the hungry part.  And not nearly as hungry and hurting as the one who is still sleeping so far from her warm safe bed and this family who loves her enough to scour back alleys and brave drunken swaggers to find her.

My heart aches for her empty bed and for knowing the darkness of her pain is more dark than the night she is curling up in somewhere.  I am praying when dawn comes, He rises around her with healing in His wings.  We will not stop looking until her bed is no longer empty and her place at the table is again filled.

Please pray for her, and for us.  It means more than you know.  Pray she stays safe and that Papa brings her home quickly.  Pray that she is rescued from the crevasses in her own heart and that she will find her way out again into our arms and more importantly into His.

From this unpaved road,