Written by Cindy Palin

I left the office one winter night, mourning for the broken, for one young woman in particular. As I walked, I began to talk to God about the sorrow.

She was a drug addict. I found myself asking over and over again, How do I love someone who keeps hurting themselves and those closest to them? What does that kind of love look like?

To love people is to embrace the gospel. God saw our pain and sent His Son. God is no stranger to the charades we play or the faces we wear, but He looks on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). We should do the same.

As God prompted me to look deep inside, I saw beyond this woman’s choices and considered her innermost person. More importantly, I saw our soul’s enemy as a frenzied demon cutting down everything in his path. The mortal wounds of the axe echoed in the darkness.

Most of the world’s population is addicted to some substance or activity to help them cope with something they are challenged by. If you are born with a natural disposition for moderation, you are a rarity indeed. If you have learned a life of discipline, you are blessed.

This woman reminded me of my struggles, especially those which existed before I surrendered my heart to my King. Why God, why was I able to break free? And why is she still caught in a web of deceit? I realized then that I had had an army praying for me when I was growing up, and these words burst from my lips:

So bend your knees, all God’s children.
Arm for battle, sound the cry!
And do not weary of your mission,
Until the daughter is His Bride.

No matter how much we study to understand the human condition, only the spiritual weapons Scripture reveals have the power to demolish strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:4). I wasn’t given life to simply show up and care for individuals—I was called to fight for those who couldn’t.

To love a person with an addiction is to love ourselves, for no one is exempt from falling (Romans 3:23). No one can live an authentic life without Christ.

We wear His robe of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10), which makes it possible for us to approach God boldly (Hebrews 4:16). But underneath we are still in process. If there be any good in us it is because of Christ, it is the gift of His grace (Ephesians 2:8).

We will be made perfect when we see Jesus one day, but until then, the broken embrace the broken.

In the crisp night air, I was reminded how Christ fought for me on the cross, in the tomb, and from the right hand of the Father (Romans 8:34). A mystery, and yet a truth that permeates my every pore.

And if He did that for me, and continues to intercede, can I not die for someone else? Can I not lay aside my time, my judgments, and allow the commission of the gospel to govern my days so that another’s life might be redeemed?

She comes and goes in different colours,
She changes clothes but underneath…
The sound of axes in the forest,
remind us all there is a thief.
Her yesterdays keep on repeating,
Despite the prayers upon my lips.
But if He gave me a tomorrow,
There is a hope she will be His.

So bend your knees, all God’s children.
Arm for battle, sound the cry!
And do not weary of your mission,
Until the daughter is His Bride.

We come and go in many colours,
We wear Your robe but underneath,
Our accusations of each other,
Bring us so humbly to Your feet.
So under grace our hearts keep beating,
Your ceaseless prayers have called us forth.
And while we’re certain of tomorrow,
There are still more who will be Yours.