what’s so amazing…

Random Fact: I have this hideously insane bruise on the side of my arm, right below my wrist that is super ugly, hurts, and i have NO clue where it came from… purple, red, and wee bit yellow… it’s been changing colors all week… not so nice a bruise… we’re arguing currently about it’s purpose in my life.

I’ve been debriefing, solely in my mind, lately, this trip to Mississippi, and a few other mission trips i’ve been on these last few months… it’s funny… I think I have this new appreciation and vision for mission trips, for the church, and for the life given to us. Bare with me for a minute… (some of you are SUPER excited to see me actually writing – others, scared and RUNNING from the page as we speak)… FYI this will be randomnicity to extreme

I go on these trips, and more and more, what gets me are the people… the love they have, despite having nothing.
In Mexico, I was so disturbed and angered by this 20-something at the church, who was literally grabbing a student’s butt on the trip, writing poems of love. And then suddenly, i realized the other day, yes, he’s a WEE bit horny… but what he was really seeking out, wasn’t sex, it wasn’t another girl, it was true love… maybe he wanted love from someone where he thought he couldn’t get it?
In Atlanta, we saw people at the bottom of the barrel, with NOTHING, and seeking just something out… that something, it was true love
In Mississippi (hard word to type out!), I saw a 75-year-old woman who had lost her husband a year ago, saw major devastation to her house, open her home to friend, a 75-year-old man, who had just lost his wife 4 months ago, and his house had been destroyed by Hurricane Katrina a month prior. Opening that home was not really accepted – think about how that looks to loads of people in churches… our judgemental eyes of disaccord… she was frowned upon, a sweet, 75-year-old woman, for loving a man who burst in tears with us, hurting and lonely, and what she gave, it was true love…
And when you think about that, that’s really what all of us do to the varying degrees that we can… whether it’s through a boyfriend, girlfriend, work, food, stuff, we are all consumers of things that make us happy… seeking, true love

WHY?

Because we don’t know how to really SEEK out love in the way we were created to seek it out… because we weren’t created to seek it out… we were created to know it at all times, in all places… perfection, before the fall, was GOD in all places – omnipresent in an obvious way. Adam and Eve KNEW God was there… then we go and screw up the world by throwing a minor kink in the whole system God designed….

so what happens?

He says, ok, you know what? I love you SO much, i’ll give you something SO amazing, SO beautiful, that you’ll not be able to do anything but say give me more – i love you, Daddy… I’ll give you what I love so dearly… my son, my only son… so he gives this woman, a young girl, the opportunity to give birth, having done nothing to deserve it, nothing special, to be blessed in a way that what? Eventually gives all of God’s children a gift of undeserved love and grace. Mary births a child, loves a child, helps raise a child well beyond her wisdom, her intelligence, her ability to love… but he knows love – from her, from Joe (he’s a pretty cool, but tempered guy), and from Abba – his Daddy.

So this Son, Jesus, does what? He sacrifices, in a way that none of us really would ever fully be able to do, understand, want, comprehend, you name it, we won’t fully get it… he’s humiliated, embarrassed, saddened, lonely, without his Daddy for but a second, but what I can only imagine felt like an eternity… he cries out in desperation, Daddy, Daddy, why have you FORESAKEN me! But he knew that this sacrifice was the pentultament of love… it modeled everything that love is, really.

What is love? It’s messy, it’s dirty (think about dragging that cross through the road, bloodstained wood, sweat, tears), it’s sacrificial, it’s not easy, it’s incomprehensible, it’s not always desired to give away (WHY FATHER?) , but it’s given unabashedly, it’s beautiful, it’s selfless, it’s life-giving to others… it’s the only thing right in this world…

So these mission trips, I’ve come to see, not only before, but so more deeply now, are about being ambassadors for love. When you’re in a church you’ve never set foot in, not thinking about what’s weird about the place, but what is beautiful, what honors God, what furthers his story, etc. When you’re walking the streets of a city, not looking at the beggars with the eyes of a child, not speaking with the mouth of a liar or a heathen, but with the eyes and lips of Jesus, with sincerity, with wisdom, sacrificially.

See to me, these trips are as much about the people you’re with as the people you’re serving. Because, in actually, the lessons that each person on the trip can teach one another, in a space of true ‘challenge’, out of comfort zones, and in close proximity for days on end, lend themselves to chaos, lend themselves to honesty and sometimes, blunt-ness. But too, they lend themselves to the space for true love… when we’re willing to be real, authentic, sincere, and full of Christ’s love – to be used by God, for HIS glory, that’s when we model community, that’s when we model love.

My trip to MS showed me that… the boys loved – granted, we all screwed up, we all acted selfishly, we all had thoughts that were probably inappropriate at times, and we all are just plain ol’ weird. But we also allowed and watched, almost by accident, God touch each of us, show us each things, and put people into our paths who taught us far more than we ever taught them…. how ironic, but how beautiful is that to think about when we talk about God’s love, God’s mercy, God’s grace… God is beautiful… His gift is far more beautiful in an inarticulatable (um, new word?!) way… but all I know is that God is love, and that grace he gave so undeservingly, makes us hurt, but in a truly ugly, beautiful way…

what’s so amazing? God’s love… through grace…

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One response to “what’s so amazing…

  1. awwww…even though you didn’t use my guidelines (once upon a time) that was a good story!

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