The days are moving quickly and I find solace in the night. I long for solitude, isolation, and silence. I just need some time to forget myself and seek God. The voices of those who proclaim to follow God seem to never stop chattering, and the spinning of the chaos of the world has advanced to the doorstep of my heart. I cherish these days of intense fellowship with our group of ten students with Emmaus, and I recognize that I feel thin, and I pray for strength, energy, and wisdom.
From where I type I can see the roof of a man known as the Chief Witch Doctor. The group that I’m leading this week is uneasy about his proximity to where we sleep in unsecured huts. I am deeply fascinated by this man. I would love to encounter him. I imagine that I would find in him a sincere belief. There are times that I think that sincerity is absent from most Christian circles. I think that an intense encounter with this man of false belief could be enlightening. I think of Elijah and the prophets of Ba’al. I think it likely that Elijah would never had been so bold to call down the fire of heaven had he not seen the futile, desperate fanaticisms of the lost.
Surely I can be more committed to the one true God than the man that swirls with paint, feathers, and potions.
There are times that I am sure that I think far too much of myself. How many of us would like to do great things for God, while we’re not even willing to be obedient with the basics like sharing our love for Him with the people we encounter during the rush of the day? How many times do we long for a refreshment of the Spirit, or a change in the direction of society, while we drive past men and women on the side of the road, dismissing them with a blanket statement and pre-judgment that does nothing more than stick to the dirty and broken places of our own imperfect souls?
I work with pastors down here in Guatemala that wake up and walk for miles just to meet with people that are hurting. If you ask them why they’re going, they won’t give you the generic response that we love to give within church circles in the US, “I’m going to pray with them.” Sure, there will certainly be prayer, but the pastors know that they can pray for the person from a distance. Prayer is better than WiFi, you don’t have to be close. They are going to see them, to embrace them, to cry with them, to spend our most limited commodity of time with them, and to live out the love of Christ through actions.
It’s not about saving the world, how much you "Just love Jesus!", or how well you evangelize. It’s about pressing into a life, touching a soul, deeply and truly loving a neighbor. Yes, I’m tired. I’m exhausted from rhetoric and sermons. I’m impatient with those who would exclude a person from the kingdom by a word they speak, a place they would go, or the appearance of their body. I’m looking for the man, Jesus, that ate with the dirge of society, pulled water for a morally questionable woman, allowed a devoted servant to wash his feet with her hair in public, and touch the unclean.
I don't see Jesus in clean or pristine places... I see him along the rough edges of a muddy road, caked in the dirt underneath fingernails, in a shared bottle of water, and in the desperate eyes of those who know death all too well.
I see Jesus through the lives that rely on Him, that bleed for Him, that exist in the mud, the heat, and know that He is their comfort. The rest of us get blinded by the comforts of life and we forget that we too need Him to survive.
And so... I'm tired of my own heart that sometimes casually seeks Him. I'm tired and I'm going to fall back into Him... for rest. I need to again throw down my own plow, and slide in beside Him and allow Him to pull the weight.
I want to be Paul when he was facedown on the road, Moses when he had to remove his shoes, Mary when she wept at Jesus feet and dried them with her hair, Peter when he was restored three times... I just want to stay broken.
Maybe it's just me, but I only really see Him in my brokenness.