Since August last year, God has brought three separate groups of people to Clouds End for two weeks of training under the ‘I Was Hungry’ program. Two weeks. A short time, but long enough for our team to get to know and love them. Long enough for our God to use each trainer, the material, and an environment of love and acceptance to work His unfathomable miracles. … And long enough for Him to tuck each attendee into our hearts before they leave.
The disparity between groups has been interesting, and challenging at times. They have been poles apart in so many ways, and on occasion we may have been even been a little puzzled over an individual whom God has chosen to bring. But His ways are higher than ours, and our job is to serve and trust. We know that by the end we will, as always, stand amazed.
Trainers have learned to allow the Holy Spirit to lead, knowing that whilst they teach from a well set out program, The Teacher sees way beyond our limited human perception. Searching hearts and minds, He looks deep into the crevices of carefully hidden pain, and in His all-knowing capacity, understands. He has kept vigil all down the corridors of time, from the day each one entered the world as a tiny, vulnerable baby. He has watched the silent tears of a heartbroken daughter, smarting from the barbed words and unkind acts of her father. He has heard the anguished cry of a mother who has lost her child, or a man who pleads for work so that he can feed his family. These are all the unseen, secreted things hidden behind the masks that people are wearing when they arrive at Clouds End. But the Father sees all, and is waiting, longing to pour His healing balm into those camouflaged pockets of pain, if hearts will soften just enough to let Him in.
He begins His work slowly, tenderly. Like the day one of our trainers gave the introduction to Foundations for Family. He spoke on heart issues, and in honest transparency shared about his relationship with his father. It was a story of sadness and pain, but also one of triumph. Through the amazing love of his perfect heavenly Father, he was able to forgive the imperfection of his earthly father. As a result, today they share a restored relationship.
However, before finishing his story, he became aware of a young girl weeping at the back of the lecture room. She had been pierced by what he described. Her father had, likewise, trampled her heart and as a result she’d built a wall around it, shutting him out. “But what must I do?” she wept through bewildered tears, “How can I just allow him back into my life after what he did?” Her answer came through the conclusion of the trainer’s story, as God quietly spoke into her heart. At that point, some of the older ladies in the group gathered around her to pray, and tears of release streamed down her beautiful face. The healing process had begun. Meantime, God was also doing another work. He was breaking barriers. A closeness was developing, which we have watched happen within each group as pain-frozen hearts slowly begin to melt, and open.
Our amazing God. He works so gently. So lovingly.
Now we watch, to see how the journey progresses throughout this final week. To see how the Spirit works in the soft and also the tough. Every human heart on earth is blinded by the darkness of self, some more than others. So while we watch, we pray. And hope that those who can’t even see their sin – who are not simply denying it, but actually oblivious to it – may be touched by the One Who opened the eyes of the blind.
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