Sunday, June 23, 2013

To Shine

I often think about the words Paul used when he described what a Christian ought to look like if he or she is really doing their job.   If we're genuine, we should stink like sheep.  If we're true, we should taste like the salt of the earth.  If we've been forgiven, we should forgive so much that the words coming out of our mouths overflow with the sounds of mercy and grace, but it's what we should look like I'm left to consider most.   Paul says we should shine like stars in the universe as we hold out the Word of Life to a crooked and depraved generation.   Not some flashing blip of a shooting star fizzling out as it arcs the night skies...we're supposed to have this glowing, bright, squinting, put-on-your-sunglasses....'shine'!  Think of that!  We should be so fragrant to the soul in front of us that we literally just light up like a super nova.   

I was reading to my son this morning in the Psalms about how we are supposed to meditate on the Word of the Lord and consider His ways, and I realized we've never really covered the territory of that word, to meditate.   The best way I can describe it is this;  We should see the words on the page, and then ponder them.  We should chew on them.  Ask God about them.  Pray about them.  Not rush on to finish off the job, but kick up our feet, lean back in the chair, and really just....daydream!

We should look at those words and imagine that they aren't just flat, two dimensional ink on paper.  
No, No! We're just looking from the top down!  There's the epiphany of realizing you've just been flying around on Google Earth looking at everything from the perspective of the Moon, when there's valleys to dart through, oceans, mountains to climb! 
In fact, we should see those words and then imagine diving off the cliff of each letter, because in the Word of God there's hidden wisdom underneath and I've yet to discover the bottom.  Imagine a cake that just says "Happy Birthday!"   It's just like God's Word to us.   If we dare to dig deeper than the message, we will find there are layers and layers of sweetness, frosting and moist cake, and then even more frosting, down below!   

 I'd like to share a perfect example of what this 'shining' should look like in the here and now.   My good friend Oswald Pompee is a pastor.   I shot this image of him today as we were walking from a dark school room into the bright Haitian sunlight, and I forgot for just a shot or two to change my settings.  The image came out overexposed, but I realized I loved it, because this is actually exactly how I see this man.   He shines!  So much that some days when I'm looking at him I feel like he could very well be sent from God, just here to help me on my way.  His church is actually my favorite place to worship on Sundays, because I know God is sitting there too. 

We've prayed about three families most recently, and when God sent provision, we were excited to pass on the blessings to them.  One family was Pastor Pompee.  
When I first gave him the funds I told him it was God's blessing and to only give Him the glory.  Pompee told me, 
"Thank you God, and I think I know what I'm going to do!  I'm going to buy a piano!  The people in my village really love music, and this is a way I can draw them to come and listen to the Word."  He had a great big smile on his face.
"Oh, I didn't know you could play the piano." I said. 
"No, I can't.  Not yet.  But I will learn quickly."  He said.   
Three days later he came to me.  
"Well, I talked it over with my church council, and they think it's a good idea, but there are things they think should come first, like buying more tarps for the roof so it doesn't rain inside, and maybe putting cement on the floor instead of dirt so it isn't muddy.  I agree with them, and I'm so happy!"  He said. 

For the next week this man worked to the bone from dawn until dusk, every day, until today when he came to tell me the work was finished.
I shot a picture of him and his wife, standing in front of their church.  You have to cross the palm tree bridge to walk inside the bamboo and palm tree hut with newer, gently used tarps and a brand new concrete floor, complete with a new pulpit.    

"When it rains, the water stays out now and the people are so happy!"  He said.  
"We're going to make service tonight too. I got a new light that uses solar to charge during the day, so now we can make a light in the church at night! It's wonderful!"  I watch him beaming at the possibilities, the shear wonder of God and what He might do next!
When I stop and consider just that one word, to shine, that's what it should look like.   

1 comment:

  1. what a beautiful example of Gods community at work! Blessings unstoppable...SHINE