...and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
|Capuchinas Convent Ruins, Antigua Guatemala|
Confession time: sometimes in the quiet of the night I have fears about becoming a missionary and moving to Guatemala... but my fears may not be what you think. So far everything that has moved us closer to our big move has been all God. We have had big plans, and we have continued to walk forward... but we have continually hit walls, or mountains, that we simply could not pass. Each and every time, we have stood in wonder and with tears as God has made the impossible... passable.
My fear is that I lose sight that it is the love of God that makes this all work. I know that if I ever think that any of this is because of my actions, or even my faith... that it all will be worthless.
The singular reason we are here is the love of God.
His love touched us and forever changed our lives and now we are compelled to be immersed as a part of His story. We reach this love that flows through us out to others. Kellie and I are on this journey for a simple reason: God opened our eyes to things unseen. He allowed our hearts to break at the emptiness inside us. He allowed us to see the beauty... the peace... the joy that exists in a heart that believes.
And now we find ourselves in this place.
We find ourselves involved in this wonderful busyness of living out our faith. This week we have multiple tasks, and it is easy to become task driven. And yet... we are called to ministry. The life of a missionary is not as simple as I once thought. Our ministry had to change our entire lives. It means that we are evangelists that tell stories of God to everyone we meet. And our ministry is multifaceted:
- Our primary ministry is our relationship with one another and to God.
- Our secondary ministry is seeing our children rise as true believers.
- We also minister to our family & friends who see our walk and measure our integrity.
- Through our walk of faith we minister to those who support us through prayer, finance, and assets.
- Our actions and our faith affects those with whom we work directly on the ground.
- And finally... we are allowed to minister to the widows & orphans of the world.
None of this can happen if we do not first have love.
Our actions are empty without love.
Our actions are meaningless without love.
The only thing we have to fear... is losing touch with God. No matter what we can accomplish... without the love of God driving our hearts and opening our eyes, then we would be a puff of air and a meaningless clanging that destroys the tranquility of the countryside.
We walked the streets of Antigua today and marveled at the beauty within the ruins. My heart broke as I suddenly saw the city as it once was. I could see the tall, gleaming white walls of the cathedrals. I could hear the sound of the horses as they pulled gilded and gleaming chariots over the cobblestone. I could see the merchants, the europeans, the beautiful Guatemalans as they basked in the light and wealth of this gleaming city.
And yet... what my feet pressed down on was dust and ruin. Earthquake and flood had destroyed this vision, and all the realized potential that had been achieved through dreams and hard work had been destroyed.
I never want to hear the elegy of my own part in God's story. I don't want people to walk through my ruin. My vision must remain steadfast on my Father.
~My life must be the proof of my love.~
...And though I bestow all my goods
to feed the poor,
and though I give my body
to be burned,
but [if] I do not have love,
it profits me nothing.
Tomorrow begins our work.
May our eyes remain focused on things unseen.