let justice and praise become my embrace

figuring out the art of losing myself to better know Him

love is difficult action Saturday, 17 February 07

Filed under: LOVE — joyunspeakable @ 11:40 pm

Today as I was walking to Checkers (for the second time this morning) with Gareth, Struan, and Adebayo, a homeless woman was hit by a car. I heard the sound and turned around to see what had happened. The person lay motionless on the pavement (I didn’t know it was a woman until we got closer). As we approached, it was clear to see that she was seriously hurt. Instinctively I began to pray under my breath, restraining my desire to run over to her side. As we stood there, I began to feel frantic- should I pray outloud? Should I call the police? Should I move her out of the road? What do I do?
Never have I felt so utterly helpless. The whole scene was unreal and I was shocked at how calm I was, looking back. Even when she began to splurt blood from her mouth and nostrils, I didn’t lose control of my emotions. My mind was thinking a thousand thoughts a minute. Fear gripped my heart. Fear for the woman’s wellbeing. Fear of praying out loud. Fear of what others might think if I tried to help.
Most people told us to not touch her, she might have a broken neck. But as I stood there looking at her in her helpless state, coughing up blood and not even being able to breathe, I could not believe that NO ONE was touching her. Not even holding her hand. I knelt and grabbed her hand, but I still didn’t know what to do.
Eventually Gareth convinced me that the ambulance would come for her. I didn’t want to budge, I wanted to do something that would actually help her, but what would that be? Fear kept me where I was. We walked into the grocery store and as I found an empty aisle, I walked down it, letting the tears run freely.
How could I have just stood there as the poor woman lay on hot concrete, surrounded by strangers? What if it hadn’t been the woman, but one of my DTS friends that had gotten hit? I would’ve run to their side right away and talked to them, stroked their hair…SOMETHING!!! What the hell is wrong with me? As soon as we got home, I ran up to a roof balcony with my pillow and cried into it. I told God how sorry I was for not loving her. For not doing anything. For letting fear dictate my actions. For being apathetic. I could sense him telling me not to feel guilty. And as I quieted down, he gave me peace. But he then began to speak to me something that I think will change my life.
He wants me to change how I view people. Every single human being is made in the image of God, therefore has infinite value. Every person is loved by God equally. Why had I hesitated at the accident? Because in my heart I believed that her life, as a homeless beggar woman, was not as valuable as someone who had a car, a house, a family, nice clothes. What a lie. I thought maybe she would be fine, like it was okay that she was bleeding from her mouth and nose. It seemed so natural for her to be there on the ground, when in reality, who knows what they are supposed to do when they are in pain? Does anyone plan on getting hit by cars, can you take a class where they teach you how to respond in a situation like that? No!
It was too easy for me to just take her hand and pray silently. God is challenging me to love people and love is difficult action. Love should be hard to do. Often times I have the right heart intentions, but don’t show love in a true way. For instance, the street kids I see every day on my way to Checkers, I have started to give them food every now and again. Is that love? At first glance, one might say yes. But it’s not. For me, it’s something easy to do that has made me feel better about passing them by. But what if I were to sit down with them, hold them, talk to them, laugh with them, really get to know them? That would be real love. That would not be easy to do. And that is what God is telling me to do.
Never again will anyone lie alone in pain if I am there. I will hold their hand, talk to them, sing to them, pray for them… without regard to what anyone says or thinks. I want to be the love of Jesus to everyone I meet.
“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'” -Matthew 25:40
I want to see the face of Jesus when I look into people’s faces. Imago Dei. I want to stop giving people different value in my own mind, I want to see the great value they have in God’s eyes, and treat them as such.
May you love today without holding back for fear of anything. May you love in such a way that the world sees something radically different in you. May that love draw people to Jesus.


Sunday, 4 February 07

Filed under: Uncategorized — joyunspeakable @ 4:59 pm

we climbed muizenberg mountain to watch the sun rise…

it was completely worth it!

julienn, age 8 and his brother ludovic, age 10 (their parents are staff here on the base)
both of them can speak english and french fluently…and a little bit of laos. such cute boys!

our accountability group met on the playground last week.

so much fun!

the most beautiful gate! at olive station- the best mediterranean cafe/restaurant in muizenberg (ok, so maybe it’s the only mediterranean cafe, but still)

muizenberg- the beach


Saturday, 3 February 07

Filed under: Uncategorized — joyunspeakable @ 12:34 am

Got my nose pierced on Tuesday. But don’t worry… it didn’t hurt at all (ok, maybe a little bit), it looks really pretty, and God said it was okay if I did.

Here’s the full story. Ever since seeing some of my GCC friends who had cute nose piercings, I have secretly wanted to get one myself. But I’ve always been too scared. The idea of a needle going through my nose freaks me out a bit. Also, another big reason I didn’t get it earlier was the fact that there really was no good reason to. I felt like it’d be a selfish thing, because I’d only be getting it because I wanted to.
So, Tueday morning, I asked God what he thought of me getting a nose ring. He didn’t answer me until later that morning when the speaker in our lecture had us open the Bible to Ezekiel 16. When we got to verse 12, my heart leaped and I sensed God saying to me, “Hey if you want to get your nose pierced, if it’s something that is important to you, then go ahead. You have my blessing, after all you are mine and I love you.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. In fact I was kinda disgusted with myself taking advantage of scripture like that. I hate when people take things out of context of the Bible to make it say what they want to hear, or when they go and do things because “God told them to”. And yet, I felt such a peace… so that very afternoon my friend Josh drove me, Rene, and Greg to Kalk Bay (two trainstops from here) to get my nose pierced.
It cost 150 Rand (which is roughly $20) and only took a couple minutes. The man who pierced my nose didn’t use a gun, which made me kinda scared, but it honestly didn’t hurt. He warned that my eyes would water when the needle pierced my nose, but it ended up not doing that at all. He was also surprised that it didn’t bleed afterwards. I like to believe that God blessed the entire process. It didn’t even turn red or swell! I’m here on Day 3 after getting it done and it doesn’t even hurt.
If you get the chance, read Ezekiel 16. I love it. In a way, it is what God has done for each of us. So, for the next however many years that I have this piercing I will be reminded of what God has done for me…and hopefully I will not respond in the way Israel did later in the passage.
Okay, so that’s it for now. The lesson I learned from this was that God is in the intimate details of each of our lives. If it concerns you, it concerns him…if only because He LOVES you! So, don’t be fooled into thinking the Holy Spirit will only speak to you about sharing the gospel or praying that someone be healed…that’s crap. He wants to be involved in the most mundane, non-spiritual parts of your life- to make every part of you filled with his presence. I am certainly learning to enjoy his input in unexpected ways of everyday life.
: )
Love you all!