There are too many stories to tell and images forever burned in my mind. God has awakened my soul and awakened my eyes to the ugly in not only my heart but the blindness that surrounds me in America. I flew home fighting the bitterness in me because I experienced fullness from a place that had nothing and yet I live in a place of most people having it all and yet still most feel empty. It bothers me and moves me at the same time. So for the next few weeks I'm going to use my blog to process my emotions, Gods word and I hope you will come along side me and share your stories as well.
My bed is not comfortable
When we arrived at the camp we were staying at for the week I grabbed a bottom bunk. I doubled the mattress to ensure comfort and then proceeded to make my bed up with silky sheets and my extremely comfortable pillow. As the days progressed the comfy sheets no longer mattered because the boards that lay under the mattress (both) were hard and so uncomfortable that I spent most of the night changing positions and tossing and turning until morning.
What I realize now because I'm a visual learner is that Honduras were the boards that tossed me around and the comfort of my sheets was my comfortable Christianity that I didn't know still existed in me because I'm a far removed legalist. I also have trusted people to a fault at times. I am the person who could care less if they take the $ I gave them to buy beer because I just do it out of a place of God said so. I'm not saying I'm perfect remember I just said I was once a legalist.
For example the day before we left for Honduras Rachel and I were in a hurry coming out of Walmart and a lady approached her. I was already in the car and Rachel was putting away the buggy. The lady proceeds to walk her to the car and she bends down and tells me this long story about how she didn't have any money and that she needed food and a piece for her washing machine and honestly I heard blah blah blah. I said ok let me run to the teller and I'll be right back. Trust me the flesh in me said go you are in a hurry she will never know but the Holy Spirit that is also is in me said give her 20$. I often hate that tug of war because I often lose. I went back and complained about how I didn't want to do it all the while Rachel was watching and holding a bag full of stuff for our mission trip on her lap.
So now you know I am not perfect.
While I was in Honduras I read in John throughout the whole week. The morning after our first night I came across John 9. I was convinced this story was about the orphan girls and how they needed to tell their stories and then it hit me this story was for me.
John 9 1-2
Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked him saying "Rabbi who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
As embarrassed as I am I was the disciples that day in the parking lot in Walmart. The thoughts of why she was at this point and needed the money. God positioned her perfectly because he knew that as I would enter Honduras my mind would be blown by things I would see and He would become the focal point so in order for Him to fully get the glory He had to shine the light on an ugly area of my heart.
Comfort is not always bad it just blinds us from seeing God and also a world that is hurting. I don't always assume the worst in people but on that day she messed up my routine and pushed me from comfort because I had somewhere to be. The disciples never spoke to that man and yet assumed it was his sin or his parents sin that got him there but Jesus response blew me away and I'm sure his disciples.
Jesus answered, "NEITHER this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.
This is the part where I turn and walk away with my head down like a kid being told no. The morning I read this it was around 4:30am and the sun was already coming up and the sky was such a beautiful shade of blue. The trees were tall and were swaying with the wind. I was thanking God for the opportunity to even be there and boom John 9:3 punched me. I had to have that moment of self realization that nothing I do or will ever do can be about me or someone else no matter the circumstance. Every move I make must be hidden in the beauty of Gods power. Every smile I share or hug I hand out, to every dollar I give to a homeless person standing off a ramp is to bring God glory IN THAT EXACT MOMENT that He sets up.
As I process the week my first thing I learned right off the bat is that comfort is something that keeps so many Christ followers on the edge of their seats never fully standing and yet never fully experiencing the power of God. I am praying and will continue to pray for God to burn in me passion for His people. It's easy to be bitter towards Americans when you see the way some live in Honduras but there are families all across my city that are in need of food, love and a smile. The disconnect I felt towards that lady in Walmart was brought to my heart the moment I read John 9 and I knew that God totally set me up!
Today I see things a little more clearer but first please hear me say that having nice stuff isn't bad trust me I want a new car badly. I just believe that just like that blind man who struggled his entire life with not being able to see there are people all over the world including our cities that represent blindness by needing food, encouragement, forgiveness, clothes or maybe 20$ and because of comfort our hearts become blind and if we aren't careful we will never step out of our circles of influence, or never fully love people without expectation. We can't stiff arm uncomfortable moments that stretch our faith and every fiber of our being to trust a God that heals, protects, provides and does all of that in the very moment that will bring Him the most glory.
My bed was so uncomfortable the entire week but it caused me to get up earlier each day. My prayer is that the area of comfort you are hiding in will be uncomfortable this week and cause you to get up. God is choosing to use you and I to SEE His sons and daughters in need in the moments He has designed to bring Him the most glory. Clayton King said this "punch fear in the face by putting your faith in Jesus." Let this be your call to bravery today. Choose to get up and stand up behind the power of the Creator.