The Sound of Broken People
Mark 5: 3-5 “This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. 4 For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him.5 Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.”
The Sound of Broken People: A journey of worship around the world
This is the title of a report from a young lady who has been a missionary apprentice over the last few years. Her name is Cherith and she has recently completed a gap-year project in 4 different countries. She graduated with a Bachelor of Music last year from Queens University, Belfast and part of her preparation that year though unwelcoming was to become broken herself, “…sometimes you have to realise how broken you are to realise that the whole world is too. “ With the help of a friend, Cherith wrote a song and then took it around the world, meeting broken people and recording them as they learnt to sing it. I found her report fascinating and it will be published soon.
Cherith visited a place called Rajahmundry, India. “I was told about a lot of Hindu converts to Christianity in this part of India, most of them were women. In Hinduism many women look shackled, in fact the way one would tell a woman was married reminded me of shackles; they wore a bindi, family necklace, bangles on both wrists, anklets on both feet and toe rings. Of course that is part of their culture, but I could not help but think it looked like shackles. In the past there have been accounts of Hindu women being burnt alive with their dead husband so that they could not remarry, although this tradition is extinct it shows how Hindu women are sometimes seen in society, and because of this many Hindu women are drawn to Jesus, however they do face trouble at home.”
How can we describe the broken people of this world?
Their world is a painting of darkness and death. Failed dreams and hopes of and from many people surround their lives: They live in tombs.
Their connection with people is based on being controlled and held down like one would do with a dangerous animal. The world’s perception of anger is mistaken fear and need for freedom and normality: Chained hand and foot.
They have hatred but not with the cruel world as much as with themselves. They would try and erase their life if they could; they wish they had not been born: They cut themselves with stones.
But it is the sound that moves us the most. The sound of pain causes us to run to them. The cry for help coming from the depth of their hellish soul is the reason why we cross the lake and get out of the boat. For even if it looks like they don’t want us beneath it all is a human being who needs us.
Never grow deaf to the sound of broken people. They are everywhere. They are the trafficked girls of Cambodia, the oppressed Hindu women of India, the HIV orphans of Kenya and the lost dreams of the slum-dwellers in the Philippines. They are also down your street. You will pass them today and you may even have coffee with one. Listen loud, look deep, the encounter is coming.