Flights of Faith

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Being Known

This trip is almost over. I have been stealing away a lot - to read or to write. Sometimes, I would just take a walk. There is been a company of us on this tour of Southern Africa. Often, I have wondered how am I being loving to these people? Am I just that guy on a bus with his nose in the book? Can I explain that this trip was more of a mission, more of a personal retreat? Or am I just an outsider condemned to misunderstanding?

To be honest, I had to commit to a subdued presense earlier on in Capetown. This is a necessary time for me to process and to grow. It needed to be a time of receiving. I prayed against appearing aloof but, sometimes, we need to make tough choices no matter what others think. Perception alone does not seem to be a Kingdom value. I will be the odd grasshopper in a sky of social butterflies.

Thankfully, there is a graceful God out there. It seems as if a life lived for Him - even a struggling one - produces a known-ness in us.

At dinner last night, people knew me. The words they said about me or my relationship with my dad or their hopes about my future. They connect to my story. They are not simply words I want to hear or general well wishes. They are things God has whispered, my family and friends have spoken, and prophets have made known. I felt echoes from times where I stripped away other voices and sat still with a loving and merciful God. We all have potential to see what He sees. That's what makes this world so confusing but also so amazing. We all can see. We all can hear. God's presence overflows. If we are all made in His image and God promised through Abraham to bless ALL people, then doesn't that make perfect sense?

There is a God who empowers us to experience true things without checking a box first.

And I'd like to say I knew bits and pieces of them. Not necessarily by their relation to faith, but by their relation to this world, to each other, to this land called Africa. It's someone's passion for urban youth education and the frustrations that come from a South Africa that thirsts for more schools while her New York City reality is dropouts who had a path. It's a couple that still holds hands in their sixties and finds birdwatching peaceful and exciting. It's people experiencing a moment of truth in Soweto, site of many uprisings - this was not right and we cannot forget. These are either random things or Someone does not want our story to start just when we open up a book or enter a building.

God is a force in this universe acting regardless of our words and actions. We subscribe to truth claims as a human action of categorization and a supposed demonstration of alignment; He is simply truth.

Truth with a mission. Truth with a vision. Truth that has a past, present, and a future.

This is where we walk into the deep because we are all looking for something - whatever we define as treasure or the good life. We even look at outside situations this way.

What would fix Zimbabwe? Is it us, is it money, is it just Mugabe out of power, is it the uprising of a people?

Or is it a man who made some promises a long time ago? Is it in a sacrificial love that lays down selfish ambition for the possibility of upward momentum for more than just self (and then downward momentum to reach even more)? Is it love - not on a whim, not because it's all we need, not as a last resort, and not because it's the only thing we can agree on - but is it love because there is a Power in a love that is forever? A power that is undoing the work of death and producing life in its wake. A power that does not bless tyranny, but rewards humble servants. Is it that offer being made equal to the jobless, the teachers, the mothers, the hotel worker, the carpenter, and even Mugabe himself?


We say it starts with a choice but maybe it is less of the way we are choosing to see the world and more a choice of who we will let see us. It is allowing that Love to not affect simply a broken country, but a broken self. It involves disassociating ourselves from an identity as Savior and humbling ourselves to be saved.

It is about being known - letting the Seer see us. It is about the fear and trembling of stepping into that space and then meeting two eyes of unyielding fire. The blaze is close, but we are not burned. It is about looking into those eyes - that do not seem to ever look away - and realizing we are loved without measure. It is knowing that in those eyes, enough has been made and enough will be provided.

There is finally rest for the weary and in our dreams, we are made known by this jealous love.


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