Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Go Into All the World

Honey - I'm home! And I hope you are not expecting me to say that I'm the same girl that left you 2 weeks ago - because that just simply isn't the truth! I'm reminded again and again just how BIG God is and just how much growing I still get to do! As my pastor continues to remind me, I'm not the person I want to be, but thank God I'm not the person I used to be! I'm growing, learning, and loving the journey.

Africa (as it always does) has captured my heart refreshed the desire that lives deep in my soul to do, to be, and to invite others along the way! I'm reminded just how blessed and privileged I am monetarily, yet also how self-deprived and poor I am spiritually. It is a heart wrenching experience to hold a child in your arms who has the taste of death on their lips yet continues to praise God or to sit amongst those who live off of $30 a month and can still say "How great is our God". The overwhelming fragrance of pure goodness completely sutured the hearts of the hundreds who came to worship. And yet it isn't a "whoa is me" moment. It's a "thank you for living" moment. I am changed.

A little girl coming to me and thanking me for loving her even though I am white and rich and she is black and poor - all I could do in response it thank her for being a "hero of the faith" as one of my teammates called her - someone who gets it and lives it daily. I pray that I can be found that faithful; that even when I'm mistreated, unfed, unclothed, uneducated, and unloved by those who are "supposed to" love me, that I can call on the name of the Lord to fulfill my daily need. He is the one whose living bread feeds the hungry, who is the armor that clothes the naked, who uses the foolish to shame the wise, who loves the sinner and saves the wretch like me. I am changed.

To gaze into the eyes of the orphan, the widow, the leper, the deaf child, the rape victim, the devastated mother, and the surviving father - it does something to your heart. Its as though a piece grows numb and stops beating because for some it was the first time they saw for themselves that our worst nightmare really is someone else's reality. There is a part of the heart that begins to mourn, to cry out, and maybe even grow silent because the encounter proves that this World hasn't recovered from the apple in the garden.

AND - there is something greater than the devastation that takes place within each person deep within the soul. It surpasses the tainted heartbeat and captivates the human spirit. Its the glimmer that rests in the center of every eye, its the eagle that swoops down and takes each of them to a resting place high enough to see the promise land, its the smile that is birthed out of pure joy that someone has come to love them just as they are - it's HOPE. Of all the things that can be stripped away - the one thing that will never leave the people of Africa is HOPE. The mountain is never too big, the ocean is never too deep, the sun can never set on their God. I am changed.

As I headed home I knew I would have to discover my response to all that I had just encountered. And I believe that is something that is going to continue to grow as I continue to process through all that I saw and experienced. Yet it's so much more than my optional response - it's now my responsibility! God allows our eyes to see the corners of this Earth so that we will reach for those who are there. God allows our hearts to be silenced so that we yearn for its beating again. God invites us to "Go into all the world" so that we can join in on His activity of World Change - Life Change - Heart Change.

I'm ready to act! To be! To do! Are you?

Chasing Him,



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