Saturday, December 8, 2012

GUATEMALA 2012: (39) No Greater Love

My incredible mother holding Kenya, the child who showed me that God  holds our names in His heart. God speaks to me by the way he brought these two together.

No poverty is greater than the poverty of a soul without God.
 No suffering so miserable as worthless self pity. 
No disease so debilitating as eyes that cannot see the truth of God's love. Why do we fear suffering or loss or death? 
Why do we think anything depends on us? 
Why can't we just come to God like a child sitting on the lap of Jesus 
and look deep into His eyes? 
How do we miss the beautiful simplicity of His love? 
This God who parted seas and tore down walls, 
who created us, breathing life into us,
 and came to earth and suffered all these things to show us the way. 
He is waiting for us: 
to follow Him now, 
to love Him with all we are, 
to share this love with those we encounter, 
and He waits to embrace us fully as we pass from this earth.

I stare the number 187 down as a gunfighter at noon in a frontier western town. The clock tolls the hour as I ready my gaze and aim yet again. My eyes are always on the date of June 13th, 2013. It is the day that we begin our life mission in Guatemala.

This past fall my mother, along with her brothers Stephen and Gary travelled to spend a week with the mission to which we have dedicated our lives, Catalyst Resources International. I held my breath as my mother and her siblings travelled to experience a taste of what has forever changed the way Kellie and I live our faith.

These pictures are a testament of the incredible way that God works. My mother, Krena has poured into me the truths and values of a pure heart. She taught me from an early age that integrity, belief, and standing for right even in the face of the strongest challenges are worthy of our lives. I remember a clipping that hung on the side of our refrigerator that spoke of Nazi Germany and how a reluctance of good people contributed to the tragedy of millions. 

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn't a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.
-Martin Niemöller

This simple cut out quote has shaped my thinking my whole life. I have spent hours considering how different history might had been if good men and woman and stood against the evil of their day. I have faced my own demons and decided that I will stand where I am.

Maybe you have had one of those moments? Mine is crystal clear in my mind. I realized that the rest of my life was simple. I had a choice: I pursued a selfish life that would result in damaging those around me, or I fell completely on the God who had made a way. There was no middle ground. 

If I was to live my life by faith... then I was compelled to follow Him fully. 

Although my perseverance gets tested,
my patience wears thin,
my faith seems so inadequate,
and the roadblocks seem so massive...

My faith compels,
my vision convicts,
and my love gives me no other option...
This is a true encounter with the Truth of God.

It is time for us to stop being scared believers. We have the maker of the universe who invites us to come to Him as children. You have been invited to sit on the lap of the God who created you and look into His eyes.

We don't have time for a religion of fear. We don't have time for a liturgy of self-righteousness or chest thumping. We only have this moment:

to love God as we care for ourselves,
to love those beside us as deeply as we protect ourselves,
and to reach out and seek those who need Him.

Reach out to the hand of the God who created you. Know that He is bigger than your situation. Know that as you reach out to others to bring them to Him... you will find that you are made closer as well. 

I am a true believer. I have experienced Him in the lives that have changed me. I challenge you to find God in your own walk. There are things you can never learn... you can only experience.

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