27 April 2012

God of the Hurting.

There are situations in life that leave one thinking, did God actually allow this to happen? The answer usually appears so far-off in such instances. It looks all so gloomy and surely there cannot be a way out of it. One wonders if the sun will shine again.

I have seen different situations where a person is dealing with loss. I saw it when I went to counsel with a mother whose baby had just passed on at the hospital. At such times I lack words for the person. I will be there, listen to the person and cry with them. I cry a lot both for myself and others.

It cannot be easy trying to reassure a person who is hurting that all will be well again. That God cares. At that point that person needs to have a feel of a caring God that only those around can extend. But at times God actually reaches out and hugs the person with heavenly comfort.

So much suffering in the world. And we are loosing the art of comforting each other. We are all getting so busy that we do not have time to even listen out to each other. And so in the midst of us there are those that are hurting silently. It takes a heart yielded to God to notice such a person.

Given, the human touch is very important. We crave it even more when times are hard. I once went for a visit at the childrens' cancer ward. I saw so many sick children but one caught my eye. There was this one little child. The face looked too old for his age. And soon I was looking down at his little face. Then his frail little hand reached out to me. It must have been so much effort for him to stretch out for a touch. But he did. That has remained with me forever. I realised then the importance of the human touch. How much more for the hurting!

Look around. If you look more keenly you will notice someone who needs some encouragement. Someone who has been hurt by one they loved. Or a parent struggling with a difficult child. Another is trying to cope with the lose of someone they loved. All of us are fighting one battle or the other in this life. That is why we need to be sensitive to one another.

There is nothing as gratifying as seeing the face of one light up when we go out of our way to lighten their burden. It is the essence of being human. It makes ones step light and puts a spring to their walk. We are created to help one another. In both small and big ways. The burdens of the world are lighter when we all play our part.

Recently we lost some young people to flash floods in the Rift. Christian youth gone out to seek fellowship with their maker. Gone too soon. They will be laid to rest today. Their parents are hurting. But all I can do is pray for them and hope that they have enough support from caregivers to help them cope with the lose. That those around them will provide the hand of comfort that they need.

But in some instances only God understands. Because some hurts go so deep and are so hidden that only he knows. It is in that young girl who has suffered more hate than love. Or that orphaned mother who is struggling to make ends meet for her large family. Could be that family with a sick relative that has no funds to cater for the beloved. Their cry goes deep inside to the places that only God can hear. And he understands.

As Christians we are the balm of the world. We need to reach out to those around us who yearn for confirmation that God cares in the midst of the storm. And since they are among us it is our God given duty to seek them out and extend God's love to them. We need to represent God well in the way we extend care to those that need it most. For that, is our mission here on earth. And God is watching. Always.

02 April 2012

This weekend I travelled some. It was a welcome getaway from the fast city life. The slow pace of the country side always leaves me thinking life is easier that way. No alarm to get you hopping out of bed at those ungodly hours. No traffic snarl-ups to contend with. Waking up to the melodies of bird song makes it something to keep going back to. Never mind that dog that has invented a game chasing my chickens all round.I dont mind the endless cups of tea we guzzle with the village women sitting out in the shade sharing experiences in the journey of life. The warmth is simply incomparable.

But something else made this last weekend special. I had the pleasure of sitting in a sermon with one very humorous pastor. I love pastors with a sense of humour. And so he was talking about making use of the different gifts that God has given us. He told the story of a man that had the least expected gift. The man stammered. And like Moses this man could have thought to himself, now how do I make something of myself and yet I stammer. But he didnt. He decided to use that which he had to make something of himself. He went into marketing.

This guy got a job selling Bibles. At first those on the panel were hesitant to hire him but he pleaded for a chance to prove his worth. Prove he did! You see, this man would walk up to an office. He would then beg for a minute of your time. He would then start by explaining that he sold Bibles. That explanation would take like five minutes. By the time he was through introducing himself, one would already have found out his speed of speech. And so if yours was a busy office you would want to get through with him as soon as you could and get back to work. But it is his next statement that takes the cake. He would then go on and tell you that if you did not want to buy a Bible he could read one to you!

Of course noone would want him standing there reading out the Bible and so most people would opt to buy the Bible and get on with their work. And so this man used what might have held back many to sell the highest number of Bibles in the company! Much to the surprise of all! This guys must have had a sense of humour. To even think up something like that! And make money out of it.

Most of us go through life with so much untapped potential. Many focus on what they do not have other than how they might use what it is in their hand. God always uses what it is that is at hand to lift us up. It might be someone who has the gift of the garb and uses it to cheer others up. Or that person who has such a  calm look around them that goes to reassure others around them.What ever God has bestowed upon each one of us could be used for some good if we set our mind to it. And just like in the Bible days, God does not use perfect people. He uses people like stammering Moses. Or bad tempered Peter.

And so what it is we cast aside as not important may just be the greatest gift we got. And we may not even know. Up until someone else recognises our gift or someone else brings it out for us. It is those less likely ones that God uses and all for his glory. Because God uses not the obvious but what is available to him. Even if it is the least attractive he will repackage it and use it for his glory. Only if we yield it to him.