Monday, February 22, 2016

More Questions than Answers...

    Tonight, a boy carries a rifle for a cause he never cared about in Africa. Tonight, a girl runs a knife along her arm because she is convinced she's not valuable, or beautiful, or loved. Tonight, a child goes to bed with bruises on her face and body from her own parent. Tonight, a little baby dies in a back alley in an illegal abortion.

     It's easy to look around and change our thoughts when we see the darkness around us. Quickly, think about something else, something that will distract us from the seriousness of the world that we live in! We delve deeply into discussions and analysis' of sports teams and political campaigns, anything that will give me a moment's conversation and distraction from the pain in the world around me.

     Something a friend said tonight took me back to Africa mentally tonight, back to children with stomachs bloated with hunger and back to that little girl who I'll never forget that lay sick on that mat outside her mud brick home. It took me back to the most incredible time of my life, a time when I felt the most joy in Christ I had ever experienced and seen the most suffering and felt the most struggling, wrestling, and doubt with God I ever have. But it brought me face to face with darkness again.

     My dad made the observation that some experiences this past year have made me "grow up fast", and I guess I feel he's right. I don't know where I'm going with this article tonight, but I'm just writing and we'll see what happens. I guess I have a question running in my mind tonight: do we really believe what we say we believe? In the face of the pain in the world and in our churches, in our families and in our friends, in other countries and our own, am I living in a way that reflects the truth of what I claim to believe?

     Do I really believe that that child soldier in Somalia or that trafficked girl in Syria is a human being desired by God? One that He longs to bring to Himself? One who He desires to bring alive in Him, one that He longs to hear sing His praise and find joy and rest in Him? Do I really believe that?

     Do I really believe that the Christian girl running a knife along her arm is my sister? That when I walk along my path ignoring her pain and her struggle is like stiff-arming my own sister? Do I really believe that the teenage mother in an alley or that teenage boy with the needle in his arm is someone that God deeply desires His name to be proclaimed to and His love demonstrated to? Do I really believe that in this world, I am the hands and feet of God? That my role in this world is to glorify God by making His name known and praised among the nations, including the deepest, darkest holes of my own?

     If I believe those things, then how can I remain inactive? How can I not write and encourage that girl? How can I not show love to the tattooed guy? If I believe what I claim I do, shouldn't it affect my life? Shouldn't it make my life in some way different from the unsaved around me? Those who have no reason to care for the run down and the forgotten? How can I claim to have the mind of Christ and be living in the imitation of Christ if my love is no different from those who have no knowledge of Christ?

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