Not Today

Usually, I try to be overly clever and write a blog about the Lego Bible, the history of Sunday School flannel graphs, or the neglected genre of Christian horror movies. Not today.

There is a column outside my office in the IMM basement. Now off-white, it was once painted white. It is stained. It is peeling a bit. Standing under a terrace next to the heater access door, surrounded by dusty stones and concrete pavers, it helps support the building. One day God brought it to my attention.

“I need you to be like this column – standing here beneath notice. Slowly, I’m going to place a heavy weight on your shoulders – more than you can bear alone. Stand and do not move.”

Yeah, I feel it. Many days I have to bear up and sip my breaths so I don’t hyperventilate.

There were dark days long ago when I could not bear weight. There were months leading into years when I could not stand, and I have spent a wealth of endless hours shifting and rolling, day and night, on cloudy days and sunny days, trying to find a cool breeze or shade from unreasonable and scorching fear that I did nothing to deserve. I could not function in the world, and the world had no use for me.

What I would have given for just one day to be bored, or the luxury to worry about being cool.

So how is it I am still standing? Actually, it is a Biblical truth. I am weak, and God uses me.

But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
— 1 Corinthians 1:27

Today, I see the trials and the unearned brokenness of my fellow laborers here at IMM. We are all weak and yet we stand… each bearing the weight of being as children in a foreign culture, each reaching for daily strength to pull through the day, to overcome a new normality and the crushing crisis. Sometimes at night I wake up and hear them, my brothers and sisters, trying to stand.

And the world… the world which has no place for the weak and the foolish, see how God uses us to send His shining Hope and His bright Love to millions of people in dark times and dark places all over the face of this Earth.

All who are victorious will become pillars in the Temple of my God, and they will never have to leave it. And I will write on them the name of my God, and they will be citizens in the city of my God—the new Jerusalem that comes down from heaven from my God. And I will also write on them my new name.
— Revelations 3:12