Monday, February 4, 2008

What is God thinking?

Danger! Construction Zone.

That is sign that should hang around every Christian's neck. We are souls in progress, spirits under construction. And as with any construction site, those venturing close, need to proceed with care.

Ironically, God calls us, with all our rough edges -- some dangerously sharp -- into the lives of others. He wants us to reach out in our weakness and love the unloved, care for the discarded of this world. He rarely waits until we are "ready" -- until we have reached some pinnacle of perfection in the school of compassion and charity. He simply says GO! LOVE! and POINT THEM TO ME.

This is an insane scheme! What is God thinking? Are we not more apt to do more damage than good? And indeed, one does not have to look far to find examples where those bearing the name of "Christian" have done more harm than good under the banner of "serving God."

So why would the God of the Universe entrust the love and care of the wretched -- His precious wretched -- to such frail, bumbling, brutes as we? He knows we are bent on arrogance and prone to pride. He has to know it is a recipe for DISASTER.

What is He thinking?

On Thursday of this week, we will begin a teen girls conference for ten orphanage girls and ten youth group girls here in Hungary. Now, only four days before it begins, more things are falling apart than coming together.

And as I consider of the magnitude of these orphanage girls' pain, I can't help but realize I and a group of Americans are ill-equipped to reach them where they are. We are but bumbling brutes -- construction zones in our own right -- entering their fragile world. It would seem a recipe for disaster. And yet, God has called us to enter it.

"As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another," the wisdom of Proverbs 27:17 cries out. God created us to need each other -- all the "each others" are the tools of Christ's craftsmanship in our lives.

Perhaps this conference is less about us teaching them and more about simply sharing where we are in the process of our construction and letting them share where they are. And as the iron of their lives scrapes up against the iron of our lives, we may just discover that as much as they desperately need a touch from us, we, more desperately still, need to touch them.

I am astutely aware of the potential for disaster here. I am equally aware of the potential for God to move by His spirit when we recognize and acknowledge our weakness and need for Him. So I enter this week with fear and trembling, urging all to pray for a miraculous work of God's spirit in the lives of these girls. May our team and translators come together in humility and subject ourselves to God's plan in these four conference days.