Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Between Worlds

I am on a plane between Harare, Zimbabwe and London, England.
I am ready to see my wife. I am ready to see my kids. I'm ready to see my church family.
And I miss my new family in Zimbabwe.
There is no way to comprehensively cover the goings-on in my heart from or during the last two weeks of my life. And I have yet to see how they will integrate into and shape my life to come.
Do I want to move to Zimbabwe? Yes. Do I want to take my whole family there with me? Yes. Do I want to stay in Amarillo? Yes. Do I want my whole family there with me? Yes. Do I love the poor and hurting people I have briefly come alongside of in the villages of Africa? Yes. Do I love the poor and hurting people I have briefly come alongside of in the neighborhoods of Amarillo and Houston and Honduras and Guatemala and Australia? Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.
I have too many "yes's" that I want to give my life to, but only one life to spend and pour out in love for God and love for people. I have too many nations that I love. I have too many individuals that I love. They cry out for my life to be poured out for them, as does my Master and Teacher Jesus Christ, as does my own soul and heart's desire.
Once again, I must turn to the living God, completely undone by the immense hunger and thirst in the world, whether in a land that is profoundly wanting or in a land of illusionary "plenty". Whether it is from the ugliest and most sinful places of my flesh, or from the most noble and selfless places of my heart, it seems I must run to grace to find any peace, joy, comfort, and satisfaction at all.
How busy my heart and mind are right now. I must either drown them out by the distracting and numbing drug of on-flight entertainment, or by mind-clarifying and heart-shaping prayer. The former is easier, the latter is healthier. The former costs nothing, the latter could cost me everything. The former is understandable and excusable and might give me some rest, the latter is inconvenient and scary and might give me life...fuller, truer life. Decisions, decisions.
The question for folks in the state I am in is, "what shall I do?" And the answer can not come quickly, unless God thunders it down unmistakably from Heaven in a loud and clear voice, or it will surely be a logical, compromising, rationalizing, but good and commendable response.
For example, I can not, with integrity, consider not moving to Zimbabwe without, with integrity, consider moving to Zimbabwe.
On what does a follower of Christ base a decisions like these with integrity? The age of his children? The practicality of the decision? The cost financially? Ease of life? Difficulty of life? Whatever would be "harder to do" is no basis for any decision, as if difficulty that has any merit all on it's own, any more than making a decision on what would be easier.
No, I must walk with God daily.
I must be resolved to know God by knowing his son Jesus Christ with the help of the Spirit. And then, in that constantly growing relationship, I should be attentive and listen, longing for the direction of God. And in each moment that I hear Him, I should obey.
There is no other way to experience God. There is no other way to make any decision for the follower of Christ. Christian logic isn't human logic at all...it is obedience. Obedience is the only logic a Christ follower has. And obedience to something demands hearing a command. I guess this is why so many Christians use human logic to make spiritual decisions...they don't listen. They don't even expect God to speak.
For now, I know that God wants my heart to be broken like his heart is broken. He has made that clear to me. He has said as much to me, many times and in many ways, before and during this trip to his nation of Zimbabwe.
That I can do. This I will endeavor with all my energy to obey. 
And while I long to "do more" as a result of my brokenness, I can't. There is too much of it. And I haven't received my assignment yet. I read that a baby duck must stay trapped in it's egg for 28 days exactly for it to be hatched into a fully developed duck that will function and grow as it should. Take it out on day 27 and it will die.
So for today, on this long flight home, between worlds, both of which I love and want to die for in the name of Christ, I sit with my broken heart, allowing it to be broken, even fighting for it to do so, so that it can develop fully into something that will function and grow as it should.
May God help us all.

1 comment:

Arlene Kasselman said...

Brian, given that I have not been to Zimbabwe and that South Africa is so much more 1st world and European in nature, let me just say this. Aside from God and your new family in Zimbabwe pulling at your heart, you have now experienced what I call the call of Africa. Once you have been and seen the colors, and smelled the smells and heard the plethera of languages and felt the tangible life that exudes from its people's eyes (even in the midst of pain) you will never shake it. Once you have seen the landscape and the African sky and its oceans(you need a trip to CApe Town for that)something will always long for it.
To some of your readers I may sound like nothing more than a proud South Africa, but you have been and you know.