Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Faith Like A Child

Yesterday I had to confess the worst thing about me to an old friend.  Her response?  In so many words she told me that she didn't care and she loved me.  Just one more story to remind us that you never know when you will encounter the Jesus Revolution...

After arriving at the orphanage in Mexico, we settled in to a couple of small buildings that had been built to house mission groups- the guys on one side of the compound, the girls on the other.  Tom, the pastor who ran the organization and chose which groups to work with, gave us a tour and talked to us about what we would be doing.  We were going to rebuild a restroom in one of the dorms.  We were going to dig a ditch and then build a retaining wall out of concrete block that ran for about 200 yards.  We would travel out to do a VBS in a village.  And we would eat our meals and worship each day with the children of the orphanage.  He told us of their circumstances.  They were there because their parents had abandoned them, or because their parents had died on the very violent streets of Tijuana.  He talked of how the orphanage had literally saved many of their lives, and how it was all done in the name of Jesus.  Their lives seemed so bleak to us.  We wondered what our first meal with them would be like.

We arrived at the dining hall/worship center and had to wait a few minutes outside while a group of kids arranged tables and chairs and set the tables.  They were very organized, very efficient and seemingly enjoying their work.  We were invited in and told to chose tables.  I had encouraged our team to spilt themselves amongst the orphans, and they did.  We arrived at tables and began to be seated, only to be grabbed by the locals and pulled back out of the chairs.  There was work to be done before we sat down.  I assumed we need to bless the food, and we did.  But there was much more.

To give you the full impact of what happened next, I will remind you that my students were not far removed from being biblically illiterate.  They had struggled to learn to share a few verses of scripture and a few Bible stories to share on this trip.  So you can imagine their surprise when before dinner Tom had all of the children of the orphanage say aloud Psalm 8.  All of it.  There were speaking Spanish, but I could look into the eyes of my youth and see the amazement.  They finished and Tom startled us one more time.  He invited us to say it with them- in English.  I knew a bit of it.  No one else new any of it.  But these folks we had been feeling so sorry for a few hours earlier could say it all- in 2 languages!!!  And this was not an isolated incident.  It happened at every meal, with different scripture passages. These kids knew their stuff.  And it lit a fire under my group.  They were partly inspired and partly embarrassed.  We were all humbled.  And we all wanted to be more like those kids.  We all wanted to heed the words of Jesus and have faith like a child

And so it is with the Jesus Revolution.  When we let Jesus have control, we will want to know more.  We will want to experience more.  We will want to have faith like children, wide-eyed and mystified.  We will want our lives to drip with the love of Christ, and in order for that to happen we have let our lives "soak" in the things Jesus taught.  For the first time in a number of years, I am once again trying to memorize scripture.  I began by reviewing the Beatitudes and the 10 Commandments to make sure I still knew them from memory.  I am now going to work on things Jesus said for a couple of months.  I want His words to be written on my heart.  When others begin to see- and hear- Jesus at work in my life, they will become witnesses to the revolution.  Join me.  We can change the world.

Because of Jesus,

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