I was recently walking down the forgotten alleyways of one of the largest red light areas in Asia and was again overwhelmed and heartbroken. The pain was everywhere I looked…eyes that expressed an untold story of grief and desperation.
It was uncomfortable in a way that is so important for my heart. I need to feel it, to touch it, to get angry and heart wrenched again. I need to cry. It is in this place where I can’t run from the pain, that recognize my own brokenness and need for freedom as well.
But in those same alleyways I found beauty as well, in the eyes and stories of freedom, of overcoming incredible circumstances, and of love and healing. These alleyways are where I have encountered the depth of the love of God, how He reaches into my depths and painful hell holes to bring hope and light.
This journey of freedom means walking with beauty and pain all the time: the belief of how it should be, can be, and the pain of what it is. It is like these pictures, devastation and breath taking beauty just around the corner from one another. My prayer is that I don’t try to quiet the pain in order to feel comfortable, nor that the pain steal my hope and joy. May we can continue to walk this road of tears of sorrow and joy.