Saturday, July 30, 2011

GUATEMALA 2011: (3) You Can't Believe In Nothing

Neulore at JourneyChurch...for Mimi's House

I was a bit freaked when I was asked to MC the intermission after the opening act (you rocked Marrisa) but I got through it with some self-deprecating humor and the smile of my wife. I sneaked away with my friend and we successfully purchased a couple of coffees. I returned and sat down, and readied myself for the band to begin their set.

I had never heard of Neulore, but I had been told that they were good. I kind of figured, eh... whatever, here we go. Hopefully the next hour wouldn't drag on too slowly.

And then the music started. I was at first in awe, and within minutes I was in tears. I remain overwhelmed with the power and beauty that rained down from that young three man team. I am convinced that the view from the window in my soul is shared by Adam Agin. I am astounded that God has shaken him with the same realizations of which my own awareness has been arrested.

When I first heard the lyric, I thought it was just another pop culture reference that sacrificed grammar for street credibility or an attempt to gain swagger. And then I listened closer. I listened with from the depth of my soul. Double negative rule... you have met your match.

"You can't believe in nothing."

Realization swept through me like warm water pouring down my back. This line was simple perfection. Have you tried to believe in nothing? I have. And I agree... you can not believe, in nothing. 

Another Neulore song focuses on this concept of belief. Take a listen to Apples (When You Lost Your Belief).

If we never bend our knees,
we'll not see what's underneath

If we close our hands to reach,
we'll never hold beginnings

You can't run with standing feet,
not when you've lost your belief

I sat in that auditorium and felt dual tears running down each side of my face. It is such a shattering moment when you realize that you have lost your belief. I have been there, and it is a desolate place. 

For me, it was over a year ago... and my world was shattered due to my own decisions. What is left when you have lost your belief? 


Nothing is left.

And you know what? You can't believe in-- NOTHING.

I made a choice that day, sitting in my car in the middle of a snowstorm. In the face of nothing, I wanted to feel the certainty of belief. I didn't have it, and I had lost it so completely... I wasn't sure if I had ever really had it. But I knew that if I was to have any chance at life, well then I needed it. I found myself willing to take steps that I believed were right, regardless of where my wounded, selfish nature hid.

Each day was a conscious effort and a daily commitment. I was searching for my belief.

This was around late February and early March of 2010. I struggled daily with moments of near insanity and tear-stained guilt. I felt empty and lost inside. Dead. I was willing to try anything.

Even a trip to Guatemala.

Our church was going on a week-long trip to build a home. My wife wanted to go. I felt pointless and directionless in my own life, and so I agreed by default.

Within 24 hours of my work on that mountainside, surrounded by tons of dirt that I needed to move and with the beautiful horizon of the surrounding mountains and volcanoes... my soul was restored. This missionary journey to Guatemala was the renewed salvation of my own belief.

In the tons of dirt I saw the past of my life. In the ambiance of the environment (chickens clucking, tortillas being patted, dogs barking, goats ah, goating...) I listened to the noise of my being. In the distant hazy horizon of the mountaintops I saw the beauty of what my life could be. 

And in the relationships that developed with the men I worked with, I saw the man that I wanted to become. I worked alongside men who were small in stature, and simply were literal giants in inner substance. Men who gave themselves fully to the life that they embraced. I watched their every move, every gesture, every expression, every reaction by the people around them... I watched them critically and in awe for a week.

I saw how their labor and sweat and smile in the midst of it all built up hope from the dust of the earth. I watched how their worship in song and sincerity of heart brought real joy to their faces. I watched how these two men were looked at by their wives and by their children-- and I often had to hide my face as I was overcome by the emotion that Noahed my mind.

I saw true belief. I believed in the answer to my nothingness. I saw the genuine article, and I knew that how I viewed myself and the world had been indelibly and forever altered.

I had been trying to run on standing feet... I had lost my belief.

And I found it here, in the most unlikely of places. And the beauty of the world opened up. I walked a hard road to get to this place, but I am so thankful that I am here.

Everyday is not always easy, and at times I still lose sight. I still reach with closed hands and forget that my vision is best when I bend my knees. But then I remember my true belief.

As the days pass by and I near my return to Guatemala... my mind is a torrent of emotion. I am so thankful for Adam and Neulore

The guys helped us raise $1,000 that night, and we had 4 new pledges to sponsor girls at Mimi's house and those are simply awesome results. And yet, I also walked away changed. I was in need of a boost, and the serendipitous nature of the author of true belief once again found me where I was.

I am so thankful.

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This is my passion. My life has been changed by what is taking place here. I invite you to come alongside with me. Come and let your life be made true. I need you to walk beside me.

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