Those who follow me on social media will have registered that I’ve been traveling a bit this summer. Rather than blogging about it concurrently, I decided to stay present in the moment. To experience. Feel. Cry. And ponder. I’ve needed some time to reflect upon everything we’ve seen and heard this summer. For the upcoming weeks, my plan is to work my way through it, all while dialoguing with you guys. Good plan?
Faith has a direction
I was genuinely heartbroken when our trip to Mozambique was cancelled due to terrorist activity. We have friends in Pemba whose life and well-being were threatened, and I felt utterly powerless at not being able to help them. Then I realized that I had demonstrated faith in the wrong kingdom, which made me more mad than scared. After that, we prayed day and night, proclaiming that Mozambique will be transformed for the glory of God because He is who He says He is!
Within days, we were on our way to South-East Asia, and I will be telling you more about that in other posts. This was our first trip to Asia, and we were excited to spend time with loved ones. We had a wonderful couple of weeks, seeing these beautiful countries through the eyes of our friends who have laid down their lives there for an audience of One.
Floods and disaster
Shortly after we got back, we heard the dreadful news of the ruptured dam in Laos. Within hours, countless lives were lost. Our friends told us horrific stories.
One village chief urged his entire village to climb up on the roof of the temple to save them from the raging flood. It worked. For a while. Until the construction collapsed. They all drowned.
There were 800 inhabitants in another village. After the flood there were 250 left. The rest were swept away by the flood.
A man carried his child on his back while seeking refuge from the heavy streams. As he fought to save someone else’s kid, his own child slipped from his back and disappeared into the merciless waters, leaving a massive, gaping hole in the heart of a father.
We cannot not feel. We are simply not allowed to. If we want to see the world from God’s perspective, we also have to feel the pain that He feels when His creation suffers, all while knowing that He still is who He says He is.
As the summer moved on, so did the heat in California. Especially in the beautiful area of Whiskeytown Lake.
Our friends in Redding, California are used to droughts and wildfires, but nothing could have prepared them for the Carr fire. Within a short time, many of our friends were evacuated, not knowing whether they would have anything to return to. Lives were lost. Homes were eradicated by the ferocious flames. Childhood memories gone. As well as the dreams for tomorrow. Livelihood vanished. Sense of security shattered. Hope struggling to survive.
Once again, on our knees. Tears of despairs. Prayers for protection. Proclaiming beauty for ashes. Blessing upon blessing for Redding, this wonderful community of servant kings whom we love and cherish.
Choosing to be vulnerable
Having friends all over the world means that we are vulnerable to pain. Because something’s always happening somewhere in the world, right? By no means do I compare my pain to theirs. Even though I feel a fraction of their pain, I’m still safe and secure where I’m at. Which leaves me with even more responsibility.
Because I’m their Aaron.
All of us who are not directly affected by threats or tragedy are called to lift up the arms of our brothers and sisters who are suffering. We need to pray. Day and night. As we work and as we rest. Let’s carry this persistent prayer within our hearts to see His will be done. Because He is who He says He is.
Where is your focus?
There’s a discussion on social media these days about who to follow. Someone said, “I have cleared out every post that doesn’t make me feel good about myself. I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life!”
By all means, go ahead and delete anything that makes you see yourself in a distorted light. That makes you resentful, bitter, malicious, heartless, vengeful, unkind, or even cruel. Go ahead and unfollow!
But don’t ever allow yourself to shut out someone else’s pain to make yourself feel better. It’s certainly not the way of the Servant King and it’s beneath you. You were made better than that.
You have been redeemed to carry hope, faith and love. Always. In all circumstances.
Allow your heart to be moved by pain.
Because after all, you know the Healer.