Saturday, September 12, 2009

God's heart, my heart

Couple more quesions:

What have you learned about God’s heart for the nations?

I believe that God has a lot of love and compassion for the nations. If I can say this - I had the overwhelming feeling that He was fully present there, in the middle of all the heated action, caring for those who were suffering and for those who were putting their lives on the line for Christ, but . . . not so much present back here in Red Deer. It’s like, where’s the action here? It’s boring. No bullets. No Bedouins. No deaths. So God doesn’t come by as often, but rather, He spends most of his time overseas where His people take bullets for him and people are in high physical and spiritual need. He has big dreams for those nations but for Canada? I doubt it. We don’t need anything.

Okay, that was a load of ….. I said all that with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek.

So really, here is what I have come to think.

I have become convinced that this same God that loves and engages fully with the nations abroad loves and engages the people of Canada and yes, that means here in Central Alberta too. Our broken world here in Red Deer hides the ugly stuff underground and the less-ugly stuff is just woven into our culture and made acceptable to the mass while it all still continues to break the heart of God. Our world here is in desperate need of a God of action. A God of love and compassion pouring Himself out of our nation through His people.

So I believe that If you and I would ask God for a greater understanding and likeness of His heart for our nation, then we would begin to see just how much action and suspense exists in our own back yard through our lives being spent for God, taking bullets (figuratively) for Jesus here in Central Alberta.

So while I saw His heart for the nations, I have a renewed sense of His heart for our nation and our people.

It’s time to join Him in the action already underway.

Was there anything that broke your heart during this trip?

You mean besides no Tim Horton’s?

I would say that I felt as though there was a blanket of spiritual darkness across the whole land. Everyone seems caught up in their own sense of justice, their own political soap box and religiosity. On the first day Matthieu and I went to find takeout lunch for everyone on the team and we were refused service because we were Christian and not Muslim. I got the impression that no one trusts anyone else. Suspicions run wild. The political corruption is rampant.

I met a fellow one day in a store that was very friendly, kind and helpful. We chatted for some time. He said Lebanese are like the fingers on your hand. In Canada we use the term “two faced” to describe a person that is not very authentic. This man described the people of Lebanon as a hand with 5 fingers. Every finger has a different size and shape. Not two faced but multi-faced. You never know what you have in front of you when you chat with someone. You are being categorized and the interaction calculated based on the assumptions made. (I speak in general terms. We met some really beauitiful people as well that are quite authentic.)

This created great sadness for me. Authenticity takes a back seat to respect. And to gain or maintain respect you put on the appropriate face or choose the right talk you need for the occasion.


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