Kailey Mattarella is a racer in India. She shared this story. I probably wouldn’t have responded as she did, but I love her response. How would you respond to the situation she encountered?
During prayer time before heading out on tours/adventure for the day, I asked God to break my heart for what breaks His.
We found ourselves touring a Hindu temple. We took a ride to the “Old Dehli” market-a place of vibrancy, noise, & lots of trinkets to look at.
As we were walking the streets, embracing it all, right before us we saw someone picj pocket, steal and run. It appeared he ran away as fast as he could.
Before our eyes, we saw many people chase after him & immediately I felt a deep feeling in my stomach as if something heart breaking was about to happen.
Within a minute I saw a crowd walking back-beating & almost dragging the man who stole. It appeared they were coming back toward the direction of us.
Within maybe 10 feet of us, people took turns kicking him, slapping him, & punching his body in front of the shop that he originally stole from. There was shouting. Anger. It felt like those moments were in slow motion. I thought it would stop after a few more hits & punches. No. It kept going. I felt my mouth start to tremble. I felt weak at my knees. There was an uncontainnable frustration for the beating that was happening and didn’t seem to stop.
In that moment I felt tears streaming down my eyes. Overcome with a deep compassion for this man, my heart ached for the brokenness in this world.
In this time, something welled up inside of me so deep, I could not, just stand there & watch.
Tears streaming, I walked through the crowd, making my way to the middle of where this man was getting beaten.
“STOP!” I shouted. Trembling.”No more! Please stop, don’t hit this man anymore!”
It went mostly silent. There were quite a few confused looks & blank stares. I wept. I was frozen, I was undone. I didn’t know what to do so I just stood there crying. I believe my heart broke for what broke the Father’s that day.
As my friend drew me back we began to pray for that man and the hearts of the people around. Still weeping, we continued to pray.
Some people approached us. “Madam, madam, why are you crying?!”
They asked if my watch was stolen
They asked if I had my wallet
They asked me if the “thief” took anything away from me
I said “no! no! no! Nothing was stolen!”
So they asked, what is the matter then madam? Why do you cry? Why do you cry so much?
With now about 30 men gathered around us waiting to understand why I was crying:
I said “that man, why did he need to be hit so much? Where is he now? Why did so many people beat him?
“Because he stole! He needs to learn lesson!”
I said “Please, don’t beat him anymore!”
They said “but madam he stole, he stole & that is not good!”
I said “I don’t care if he stole, it was not right for him to be beat so much. I believe Jesus would not have done that! He kept getting beat and people were taking turns to beat! My heart is breaking to see these things!”
And in that moment, a man from the crowd said “Sister! Sister! I am your brother in Christ, I too am a believer, you are crying because you feel the deep compassion of Jesus for that man. Your tears are an outward expression on what is happening on the inside.That is OK. That is Jesus within you. & these men that are around you do not understand such things yet. They do not understand why you are crying so much.
So I asked, “Please, explain to them why”
So he did. & I believe he shared with them about the way Jesus Christ lived.
Looking back, I am blown away that through tears of grief, God allowed someone to translate the message of Jesus to over a crowd people standing around.
Then this man said, “come with me. Come, let us get you a drink to refresh & please, don’t cry anymore. These people are sad that you are sad now. They do not want you to be sad anymore. So there we went. This crowd of men & my 2 other friends and I followed a man to a fruit drink stand.
The crowd dispersed & we went into a few shops with this new Christian friend we met. He gave us Chai, we engaged in conversation over what had happened on the street, we chatted about this man’s relationship with the Lord, how he came to know Jesus, & what he does for a living. We also prayed for two deaf men, that God would open up their ears.
This man shared with us that he encountered Jesus in a dream where he heard an audible voice tell him that he was chosen to follow the Lord with all his heart. That he was made to show others the way to Christ. He chose to leave everything he had been told about in regards to religion growing up, He was convinced Jesus was the truth, the way, the life.
In the least expected way, both prayers were answered. Earlier that morning I asked “God please break my heart, break my teams heart for what breaks yours!” & I experienced an uncontainnable grief that led me to try my best to stand in the gap for this man, with the best way I knew how to in that moment.
A wonderful mentor & friend of mine stated this recently & I believe it stands true:
“Heaven moves in vulnerability”
Step out. Take a risk. Share your heart. I believe it is all about the heart posture & God will not let anything go to waste.
“Heaven moves in vulnerability.”
Thanks for sharing this.
Amen!! What an amazing act of compassion and power!
Great story- I admire your courage for walking into the middle of that and stand.
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