Recognition and Redemption
October 15, 2014 § Leave a comment
July 1, 2014
It has been a week! The combination smell of sewage, sweat, and mosquito repellant is the only one I know. My sun scorched skin leaves a tan that makes me unrecognizable to myself. I feel like I’m stuck in a limbo of time that forgets to progress and I am hyperaware of how dirty I am and how far away the thought of ever being clean seems.
I am also aware of the fact that at this moment I am hindering the work Christ wants to do inside of me and the redemption He has in store for these communities through my constant focus on myself. I wanted to hope I’d be immune to culture shock,but the height of my privilege compared to the depth of the systemic poverty I am now experiencing are just leaving me helpless to displacement, but most of all self-shame.
When I left America with my heart burning for Christ’s mission, I had no idea I would be so gripped by my own depravity while here. I see it: my pride, my self-righteousness, my love of control, my complaints, my desire to know, my lack of trust in Christ, my circumstantial joy.
I am seeing my idols, my brokenness, and my sin with new eyes, but as I truly begin to recognize myself for what I am, I also am becoming conscious of who God is. There have been many, many times in the last week I have questioned why God brought me here, and if I honestly am doing more harm than good by being here, but I have come to realize that where I am now is where God knows I need to be. Our God desires for holistic healing and redemption. It’s incredible to me that He doesn’t only desire healing for the communities my team experiences, He desires healing for everyone equally- including me. That is how abundant our God’s love is.
Reality is incarnation isn’t supposed to be easy: the Christian truth is Jesus still did it. His love went deep enough to be born in an animal pen and to be beaten, humiliated, and left naked. Clinging onto the truth, that love, I move forward.
We are so prone to accept only the “goodness” in life and think that God’s hand is only responsible for the positive, but in essence we would be missing out on half of the true gospel. As important as it us for us to celebrate in the truth that our God desires to have a relationship with us, it is equally important that we realize our own sin, and how desperately our world needs a savior.
The gospel is both death AND resurrection, pain AND hope, suffering AND celebration.
Both my recognition of my sin, and Jesus’ resurrection are equally necessary parts of sharing the good news. I find that as I sit in the tension of all my brokenness surfacing and look onwards towards hope, that both of these paths are intersecting with God being the end I am growing closer to.
“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved.”