Mon 20 Jul
Blog Post: Humility & Grace
It could have been a Coke Cola commercial. They brought a red case of the bottled drink in the simply constructed church from the dusty road, not a house in sight. One by one the lids were popped off and we were each handed a bottle of the cool liquid. Refreshed, the energy in the conversation rises as we engage more than before. Our smiles are wider, actions more exaggerated and stories told better. Although the room is empty apart from a single table, some benches, a drum and the 10 chairs upon which we sit, it is full of warmth and friendship. Pan out from the diverse friends, a global family, connecting over Coke and our commercial is over.
I take a moment to sit back and look at the building. The walls are of brick - bricks the community made themselves. The floors are unfinished - unfinished yet already initiated by one hundred pair of feet dancing. The ceiling is simple - simple yet decorated with two streamers and hanging flowers. The front doors are closed - closed yet the setting sunlight pours in from between joining planks of wood.
I remember those who were in here but a minute ago - singing, dancing and revealing God's joy to us all. Bright and colourfully dressed with spirits high we were in awe by their trust and hope in the Lord. Encouraged, we are each thankful for the reminder that He truly cares for us all as a loving and kind father would.
I look at our hosts. They are leaders of this BIC church found in Chikwawa, Malawi. We sit in a circle, all as equals, sharing about the strengths, weaknesses and how God is moving in our respective communities. They have a passion for the Lord that moves them to dancing when life is good - and - when it's not. They truly understand that He is worthy of our praise all the time. That His grace endures in all circumstances. Here, where severe flooding, illness and death was followed by drought and hunger they have not ceased to praise Him. They have not withheld Him what is due. They have not refrained from worshiping Him with their voices or dance. Their spirit knows that as they continue to faithfully honour Him, His grace will be sufficient.
Dear North America, a continent of credit debt and stress, can we not learn something here? How can we be content and full of joy despite our situation?
We may have a job we don't like, have debts we cannot pay, or be unable to feed our children (yes, this is an increasing reality in North America). In these moments, where will our time and focus be? Will we be trusting the Lord?
We may have the latest technology and style, have thousands saved in the bank, and eat at restaurants every day but where is our thanksgiving? Are we relying on ourselves or the one who holds us in His hands?
As we received the Coke Cola, knowing that they and their children may not have eaten today, we are humbled by their generosity and willingness to care for us - strangers and yet part of the same global family. One of our party thanks our friends for the costly refreshments. As he speaks his voice cracks, betraying his calm and collected exterior, affected by their kindness. When will we learn to love like this?