“How can you listen to people’s problems all day long?” is a question I get asked frequently. “Doesn’t it depress you?”
The truth of the matter is, I just don’t think of it that way. The way I see it we live in a world that is pretty messed up and as a result, a lot of messed-up stuff happens. Whether I listen to people’s problems or not, the “messed-up-ness” of the world is still there. It would do no good for me to stick my head in the sand. If I ever pulled it back out and wiped the sand from my eyes, the messed-up-ness would all still be there. Nothing I can do will change the bigger picture, and since I believe in Biblical prophecy, I also believe that the “messed-up-ness” will continue to escalate until God decides He has waited long enough for His beloved to figure out that it will not work to deny Him, or even worse--to curse Him, that we cannot fix the messes we’ve created on our own, and that trying do so only contributes more to the messed-up-ness. The best I can do in the meantime is answer the tug He has put on my heart to provide counsel to those in the midst of the messed-up-ness. If there is anything I can do to help a person decide to stop contributing the messed-up-ness or pick up the pieces from being on the receiving end of the messed-up-ness (both tend to go hand-in-hand), that is what my work, and my passion, is all about.
That being said, occasionally I have a day where I have to listen to some stuff that truly jars me. Yesterday was one of those days, and perhaps the first time I’ve left a day of work feeling like I wanted to throw up. I felt relieved to settle into the privacy of my car for the long commute home where I could shed some tears. I don’t understand all the disgusting stuff I hear about; I cannot digest how children can be so de-valued and treated as if their lives are completely worthless. But that is the world we live in. Sometimes it hits a little close to home if it involves a little girl the same age as my own Dear One. That's when I take some deep breaths, and thank God for my Precious Ones and feel overwhelmed by the inherent value and worth of their little lives, as if somehow I could make up for the rotten, disgusting, sordid lot of all the mistreated children by loving and cherishing my own even more.
I held it together by imagining the reward of a child who has gone to Heaven and gets to be with Jesus and experience being loved and cherished, perhaps for the first time. I pictured lots of mistreated children crawling into the lap of the King and being snuggled and loved and held close and valued in a way so much more deeply than even healthy, well adjusted parents can do. Then I prayed that in spite of my own shortcomings that God would help me love and value my own children more deeply every day, and I hurried home, dropping my belongings in the doorway as I rushed to hug my Beautiful Ones.