Beauty. Majesty. Love.
Yes, there is “poverty” in Honduras, financially speaking, and plenty of it; but at Orphanage Emmanuel, the spirit & smiles, in rich, lush landscape and heart… there is abundance.
A day did not go by without the sound of laughter. Voices lifted before dawn in praise to our God. Hugs and holding hands? I needed at least a dozen more hands to accommodate the little ones reaching for my own.
Rising between 4:00 – 5:30 AM daily to singing birds and children began each dawn with a grateful heart filled with awe and joy. No television or DVD’s, no anxiety about life’s burdens…. Submerged in fervent Christian fellowship and spiritual conversation. … I’m saddened & ashamed to admit that I haven’t experienced such peace and been so completely engaged in God’s Word in YEARS. It brought to mind a time when I WAS so engaged… when I was surrounded by passionate believers and my friendships were grounded in Christ… which gave a sweetness of fellowship that has been long lacking and sorely missed. I had nearly forgotten what it was like to be “washed in the water
of the Word” by my contemporaries. An intimate bond is born between the children of God, without the pains of labor. An experience of humility of spirit, mutual devotion and love for our Lord, a shared humble awe of our Creator and of His amazing Love.
No magic potion or amount of ‘positive thinking’ … no humanitarian subtle pride, no pretentious arrogance of the ‘educated’, no Tony Robbins or the “Secret” or any other “motivational” doctrine can enlighten like the Most High God.
Unlocking your ‘true potential’ ? My first question would be “why are we locked up to begin with?” or “are we really locked up at all?” If anything, many of us simply suffer from an undiagnosed condition of anorexia of spirit. Malnourished spiritual beings feeding on American propaganda.
To witness how far-reaching this truly is was disturbing. Jennifer Lopez look-alikes wandering the streets of Guaimaca, Honduras… a sad commentary on the spread of westernized superficial bullshit. Even in the ‘jungles’ of Central America, to witness young girls spending their few pennies on hoochie-mama outfits to look like an American pop star is frightening.
And what of me? Of course I must reflect on my own superficial pursuits of ‘happiness’. Attempting to fill an indigenous and vital need for God with the latest gadgets, worldly (western) wisdom, superficial relationships … gorging on Hollywood’s venom. Even the good-willed humanitarian, environmental intellectuals I met outside the walls of Emmanuel are still ultimately pouring stagnant water into broken receptacles.
This Orphanage Emmanuel in Honduras was literally the only observable LIFE-giving tangibility there… and THAT only by the power and grace of the Living GOD.
How has this experience changed me? How will I apply the lessons learned to my life? What will I DO with this gift I have been given? CHANGE. Change my thinking … actively so. Change my priorities. In theory, living up to one’s true potential is nice … however one defines or accomplishes it. But to TRULY live up to our potential, we must first and foremost make a spiritual and educated decision, a ‘freewill’ choice, to live our lives to the glory and honor of our Loving Creator. Only then can we find what it actually is that we are created FOR and to DO.
Rather than pondering what I am going to do with my LIFE, and worrying about living my LIFE for the glory and pleasure of God, I must live each MOMENT so. Each hour I must ask myself, what it is that I am equipped and fully capable of doing that will most please my Lord and take me in the direction of being closer to and more resembling Christ. Being a good and faithful steward of the blessing He has bestowed upon me, seeking His Face and His will early … each day, giving generously and often the resources I have (including my time) to those more in need than I. Interceding for and ministering to my family. Give, give and give some more. “(Fill in the
Blank) I do not have, but what I have I give to you in the Name of Jesus of Nazareth ….”
This year it was my hearts desire to fulfill the commandment to “feed the poor, comfort the widows, visit the sick and in prison, express hospitality and clothe the naked…” now, I add James 1:27, “…visit and help and care for the orphans and widows in their affliction and need, and keep oneself unspotted and uncontaminated from the world.”
I found the latter command, coming after the first, to be in odd order… as if one’s work in doing the first would be unfruitful without the consideration and work of the second…. And by “work” in the second, I mean not only the toil of “keeping oneself uncontaminated” but the allowing of the Spirit of God to work this out within us, and that by His Word.
Okay. I guess this is enough for now. The main thing I have learned is that I am still so Unlearned. A fire has been rekindled within me to seek the Lord while He may be found… to follow in His ways and to do the work of the Kingdom of God. Not in legalism, judgmental piety or some pseudo self-righteousness, which are profitless and ultimately harmful and a mockery of the grace and power of God, but sincere obedience in love…. A desire to be “holy for HE is holy” and not use anymore lame excuses to walk in selfishness and carnality … fulfilling the lusts of the flesh in obstinate deception that I am walking in the “liberality of grace” in Christ. Let not His patient, tender mercies and enduring generosity of grace allow me to be lax or complacent in my remaining hours of breath upon this earth …
instead let it be truly said that, for me, to Live is Christ and to die is gain.
** This was my journal entry upon returning home from Honduras – just thought I’d share it!