Saturday, July 5, 2008

Even Now

Even Now by the band Foolish Things is the theme song for this blog post. Definitely a song along with Psalm 13 by the band Shane and Shane that has hit my heart hard (If you get a chance read Psalm 13, I am confident that it is a chapter that resonates with everyones heart at some point in their life, just meditate on it and let it penetrate, trust me).

This week was probably one of the hardest weeks that I have had in as long as I can remember. I have been sick, the most sick in recent memory, I am 5000 miles from home, and I am dealing with some junk that I will neither explain here or wish upon my worst enemy. For the last four and one-half weeks I would be lying if I was to say that I knew exactly why God brought me to Africa. I would be lying if I was to say that I didnt have some sense of doubt about the grace, goodness, and true beauty of God... that is just pure honesty. My life goes in cycles like most, cycles that are full of the highest highs that can never be disrupted and lows that feel like they are too large to get out of. Also like most I have the uncanny ability to see God's love and trust his grace when the highs are high, but really have complete failure to "praise him through the storm."

So I am in a foreign country trying to understand God's purpose. Trying to figure out His reason for the series of events, the situations He has brought into my life. While writing even this short blog post and listening to this song (Even Now) on repeat it is starting to hit me... He brought me to a place, where all I can give is love, I have nothing else, no other resources to dispense here. Love, the key ingredient that I throw away first at the sign of struggle.

Here is a perfect example:

This week I was on a bus to Kigali, Rwanda that left from Kampala, Uganda at 1am, in Africa they book buses to standing room only capacity. I was sitting next to my friend Megan who was making the trip to Rwanda with John and I along with four other friends of ours serving in the same diocese as us. The lady in the isle next to Megan, assigned to standing room only, decided that it would be more comfortable to sit on Megan's lap than stand for nine hours (Note: the Africans that ride buses dont always smell the best). Long story short, it was very inconvenient and extremely uncomfortable, we were scrunched more than usual and the lady was being very rude and talking about us in Lugandan to her friend all night long (in a very high volume), and constantly creeping further onto Megan's lap.
I had two choices at this point. 1) To get over/empty myself, meaning I could accept the fact that I live in an over comforted society and that a few hours of conveniencing someone else with my inconvenience wouldn't be the end of the world... more or less showing Christ through my actions. 2) Get really pissed off and say stuff I shouldn't have and feel completely violated because I am uncomfortable even though I am the one with a padded seat and am going on a two day vacation to Rwanda.
Of course I chose option two.
The first thing that I throw away in times of inconvenience is the one thing that God brought me to this continent to figure out how to use; Love. I have now realized my purpose here, now it is time for me to put it into practice... no matter what, no matter when, no matter how bad the situation seems to be. God is here, and loves... Even now!
Trouble came, broke your door
Crushed your name, robbed your poor
You feel He's gone, fast asleep
All has gone wrong, you're in too deep

He hasn't left you out to dry, even now
You haven't left his watching eye, even now
So children sing it when you don't see how
My father's worthy of my hope, even now

The feelings gone, you're wondering
If you heard Him wrong, if He's listening
The same old fear, the same old haze
Is God's not here, is His hand raised

Could this be the part of any good plan
Seems to be falling out of His hand
He hasn't left you out to dry, even now
You haven't left His watching eye, even now
So children sing it when you don't see how
My father's worthy of my hope, even now

When you're broken, don't know how, even now
When you're tunnel's still dark at the end, even now
His children don't know how, but know their father's out this time
So hold his hand, hold up your hope

He hasn't left you out to dry, even now
You haven't left his watching eye, even now
So children sing it when you don't see how
My father's worthy of my hope, even now

Even now, even now, (resolve)...
God has a plan even when we think He doesnt even know we exist. That is why i am so pumped that I serve an awesome, amazing God who never gives up on me. Even when I doubt, when I disobey, when I cant figure out what the hell is going on, even now! Life sucks sometimes that is just part of it, I guess it is time to get over/empty myself.

We serve a big God who doesn't give up, who never forgets, who loves even the unlovable, who is HUGE, who never goes away, who knows us better than even we do, a God who loves us more than we can ever imagine. We serve an omniscient God with complete and total power... EVEN NOW! (Matthew 10: 29-31)

*I realize that this post was all over the place and probably didn't make a whole lot of sense, and those of you who did, thanks for bearing with me.

**Update: John and I are leaving for Sudan on Sunday, July 6th for 10 days to do some film and photography work for the Manute Bol Foundation. We are definitely anxious and excited for this journey but are definitely requesting your prayers for protection, wisdom, health, peace of mind, ability to love and sanity. We will be without running water and power for 10 days in central Sudan... YEAH, we are flippin' excited. This is what we have been looking forward to for the last 5 months. If we get good footage and can put together some good material, a village with 200,000 people will get the proper funding to build a school building... We, us together, you and I, my supporters and friends are educating Sudanese, providing them a future. How cool is that!

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