But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility... Eph. 2:13-14

Saturday, May 20

On the Experience of God's Work

When I am doing God's Work as His Missionary, I find that something strange happens to me, to my past, to my future...and to the clock.

You travel to dangerous places, whether it's in the city or across the border, and are terrified. You're praying with all of your might, everything you see is terrifying, and then...in the space of time between the raising of your foot and the dropping of it to take a single step...you are full of joy. Without realizing it, you smile at the person that has terrified you ever since you arrived. You're fascinated with the area. You're nervous, but not afraid of presenting your drama; you even joke around with your friends. You perform the drama, and a few people watch. You feel much more comfortable as you walk across the street that you've only crossed five times in your life, feeling that you do it every day. You order exotic and disgusting-sounding foods (okay, you only do that if you're like me), and everyone comments on how brave (or stupid) you are. You eat the meal as if you've eaten every meal of your life at this little restaurant in the city, then you talk to a man as if he were your neighbor. You go back to the side-walk that is your stage and you prepare to begin the drama once again. You do, then you do it again. And then it's time to leave. You walk back to the car, and you realize: It seems like all that you've ever done is spend time in Little Mexico, that it's all that you've ever done. Your future seems tied to Little Mexico and the children watching you, the grown men, the women, the people eating across the street. All that you want to do is spend your life on that little rectangle of side-walk. You feel like you've either spent eternity there, or a few minutes, and you're shocked to discover that time passed while you were there. As you leave, you are the happiest person on earth, and pray that the Lord will bring you back.

Okay, that was my day. If you think that I shouldn't have used the pronoun "you", then I think, perhaps, you may need to reconsider. If you have been a missionary and your experience was completely different, then you do not have to reconsider anything. Please do not compare your experience with mine. However, if you have never been a missionary, then I would like you to pay close attention to this scenario and see if it applies to you in any way:

You just found out that you're going on a mission trip. You find out that it'll be hot, you'll be in pain, you'll be speaking to strangers that don't speak English. In a word, the entire trip will most likely consist of your suffering. There is nothing you would rather not do than this mission trip. You see yourself as more of a stay-at-home-and-support-the-mission kind of person. You do your best to learn what you should, and try to rejoice in the Lord, but it's all forced and you can't stand it.

That's me. Now compare the first scenario and the second. Never in my wildest dreams would I imagine that I would be able to worship God by swaying back and forth. God's Work is not what your flesh tells you it is. I finally understand a video that I saw once. It was a missionary that worked at campgrounds (I think). She said something along the lines of: "This is the most fun a person can have" (along those lines not exact). AMEN!

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