Monday, June 27, 2011

Whatever it Takes

I'm hoping to go down to Haiti ahead of my family at the end of August or the beginning of September.  My wife will be coming with the kids either in late September or early October, depending on how quickly I can get things set up for them to come.
She was extremely nervous of the idea of coming with just her and the kids, and understandably so.  My plan is somehow to meet her in Port when they come, and get them across Haiti safely.  I don't have any transportation lined up for that yet, but I was hoping to arrange that once I was there. I'm hoping to maybe even buy something once I'm there to get us around.
I don't think she's at a place right now to be able to come without me from Port, but I think if I'm already there and I can meet her at the gate in Port, then she'll feel better and it will be easier for her and kids.

We are going through a difficult spiritual warfare right now. 
Last night we met several people for a friend's birthday party, and the usual questions began about moving to Haiti, of which there are no sound answers but to trust in the Lord.  I think I'm a bit thicker-skinned and used to seeing the troubled, wrinkled brow that is written on the faces of people trying to understand something so foreign.... but it got to my wife.  She broke down in front of them all and began to cry, because she thought she'd be coming across Haiti without me.  I've never expected her to make that trip without me, but she assumed if I were already in Haiti she'd have to go it alone.  I didn't communicate it to her that I'd be there for her somehow.
Still, I did not console her in front of them.  I know that our strength and comfort and solace must come from Jesus, the source, and anything else is just a cheap imitation.  But I'm in a different place.  She needed that hug in front of them all, and I didn't give it.  I felt I wasn't supposed to.
I'm afraid her consolation and security might be found with me, but in my mind I know the truth, that I am nothing compared to the Lord.  I love her, I'd gladly lay down my life for her, but He loves her more than I could possibly fathom.  I fear that in some way her trust is misplaced if it's put into me.  It's like walking on thin ice.  It might hold up for a time, but eventually it gives away and shows it's frailty. 
A hug looks great in front of a group of people, and it offers a respite from her despair and the awkwardness of a very tense moment, but it doesn't give her the lasting peace that she needs.  Regardless, she needed it, and I failed her.
I have a problem of looking out into the distance.  Like racehorses pushing for the finish line, the muscles and energy are not put into the moment I'm already in, but the position I will be in.  I'm looking around the corner, focused on the turn and propelling towards the finish line.  Because of that, I find in moments like last night that I'm ill-equipped.   Like asking that racehorse to pause and pose for a picture in the winner's circle, while the battle for the finish is still raging.   

For us to be available and obedient to do what the Lord is calling us to, we have to put ourselves in His arms.
Otherwise our hope begins and ends with our own comfort, security and provision.  
But in Haiti, that could vanish in a breath. What will we be left with then, as we free-fall, pulling the rip-cord on a parachute made of thin paper.  Just as with David, as with Paul, as with Christ Himself, our encouragement and strength must come from the Source, Jehovah Jireh, the only True Provider.  Had any of them found comfort in the eyes of man they would have failed.  Even at the pinnacle of his confusion, when his men thought of stoning him, David sent for the priest to inquire of the Lord.  Christ, even as they beat him, jammed that crown of thorns down onto His head, drove the nails through his bones and flesh, spat on Him and asked Him to come down off that cross if He were truly the Son of God.... still asked His Father to forgive them, still brought the sinner hanging next to him to Paradise.  Mocked from town to town, ridiculed by his own people, by Jews who were following him wherever he went, Paul still found the joy from within prison to write the encouraging letter of Philippians, telling us he'd found the secret of being content. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  Their solace, their testament, was putting themselves in the hands of the Living God no matter how dire the circumstance. 

That's all I know to hold onto. 

I feel when I'm with these other couples that I'm standing in the midst of a dream.  It's almost surreal, as if I see them, and us, living in this illusion of safety and comfort and protection, that is really just a man-made prison that we've all locked ourselves into.  When He comes in the sky, I don't want to be sleeping, distracted by the lullaby that Satan is singing.  I feel we should be screaming.

A friend of mine asked me to put a song together with clips from Passion of the Christ for a sermon he would give.  
It was a song by Pillar, a very hard-edged, blood-curdling kind of sound, and not at all the kind of music I'd normally lend my ear to.  I could already hear my dad saying, "Son, that is not music, that's just noise." 
But it was a way of serving Him, and so I accepted the challenge of putting the torture and sacrifice of my Savior in the company of music that if I heard it on the radio, I couldn't flip the dial quick enough.

What I realized as I waded into the work was that there would be no better way to describe the resolve of what Jesus chose to do, the pain He accepted on our behalf.  It was not a pretty song.  There was nothing harmonic about what He did for us.  It was a split from anything right in this world.  The terrorism that He and those around Him experienced was beyond sanity as they entered into the realm of a crazed mob, frothing at the mouth for the ultimate destruction of His life... and this song told that story.  It put to music the raw reality of anguish, the resolve, the harshness, the barbaric chords of what Christ endured for us.  
This, my friends, is what I feel we should be shouting from the rooftops, instead of rationalizing a comfortable way of life.  Anything we do in His service, whether it makes sense in the eyes of man or not, right down to selling everything we own and moving to a foreign land to share His story... it's worth it.  
He is worth it.  Watch this video, and ask yourself if you'd rather listen to a lullaby:

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