Oh, let us cling to Jesus and sing tonight:
You do all things,
You do all things,
You do all things well.
Oh, let us cling to Jesus and sing tonight:
Week 2: Stone & Thread
Remove the stones from under your feet and
unravel them to thread.
Tie them around your ankles and dance –
no longer stumbling blocks, but ribbon
that paints your path to steady ground.
Lift the stone up off your back and
unravel it to thread.
Weave it into tapestry and hang it up in victory –
see how the beautiful the night looks
when raised from your shoulders.
Look up and rejoice; the stone has been rolled away.
Week 1: Windows
Do you tire of being transparent?
Looked through, never at.
Your worn face is smudged with the grease of greedy children
Reaching past your open hands,
Tinting your crystal heart –
– don’t you know
Dyed glass is not dead glass,
That windows are most beautiful when stained.
The Most Terrible Poverty
There is a little village in the Great Rift Valley on the outskirts of Maai Mahiu, Kenya. The population exceeds 1,000 Internally Displaced Persons; almost all of them have fled their homes six years ago because of violent civil war and were forced to lived in tents on untamed land.
They now live in mud huts without running water or electricity. Some of the land has been developed, and the dirt roads have been revived by sections of greenery. The homes are in grid rows, and there is a field in the back for livestock and shambas. This village is called Jikaze, and its citizens are refugees from the 2007 post-election violence. Today, they survive on 30 cents a day.
And yet, survival is not a complete picture of their existence. Life is certainly not easy for the people of Jikaze, but they wake every morning and strap on their armor, fight through the day’s battle, and lay their down their victorious crowns every night. They share each other’s burdens and celebrate each other’s successes, and though today their wells may be dry, they drink deeply from internal cisterns of resilience and hope in tomorrow.
The first day I sat in on an elementary school class, one of the third grade boys offered me precious fruit from his lunch because I had never seen oranges like that. Every day I spent with my host mother, she fed me and five other teenage americans until we could eat no more. How could they be so poor and yet so generous? How could they have gone through such terrible warfare and yet have so much hope?
Perhaps there is a strangely abundant life in having just enough. Perhaps material comfort and financial security are not as fulfilling as they seem. Mother Teresa once said, “The most terrible poverty is loneliness and the feeling of being unloved” - perhaps Jikaze is not so poor.
On the night of Jesus’ death, at the peak of his suffering, when the sin of the world hung on his shoulders, he was alone. His disciples had fallen asleep and denied him during his greatest time of need, and his holy Father could not be with him as he took the world’s sin upon himself. For the first time in his life, he was completely and utterly forsaken, completely and utterly impoverished.
But because Jesus willingly suffered this poverty for us, we no longer have to; the Great Rift was bridged as Jesus reconciled our broken relationship with God. While we were rebels against Christ, he took off his jeweled crown of heaven and donned a thistled crown of thorns, trading perfect communion with the Father for our separation from God - for our “most terrible poverty.” But on the third day, Jesus rose and reentered heaven’s community, restoring our relationship with God and inviting us into abundant life. Now, we can freely call on the name of the Lord and look to the finished work of Christ to keep off the chains of destitution.
May we strive to tell of how He has rescued us from “the most terrible poverty” and share the abundance and riches of Christ everywhere we go.
Yesterday, the sun was crucified but today it did not rise.
I wonder what it’d be like to be alive during Christ’s crucifixion and revival - to watch God hang up a black backdrop of death only to paint upon it a golden and glorious resurrection.
But more interestingly, I wonder what it’d be like to be alive during the day in between - the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter as Jesus lay dead in his grave. The Light of the World had been extinguished by Roman rule, and for over 24 hours the world remained in complete and utter darkness.
There was no assurance that He would rise; all confidence in the power of Jesus was probably lost when Christ’s dead body was cut from the cross and buried in a tomb. All that could be done was to wait, and to cling tightly to grains of hope slipping through the holes of desperate hands.
Quite honestly, life can sometimes feel like this depiction of “Suffering Saturday.” We pray and search and wait and pray and search and wait as our hope for a response dwindles. We try to hold on to God’s promises but with each passing day, they become increasingly jaded. God cannot speak through tombstone, it seems. But one thing sets our situation apart: we have the assurance that Christ has already risen. He came out of death and freed the world of bondage then, and surely he will do it again now.
So if you’re in a time of waiting, take heart:
Yesterday, the Son was crucified but tomorrow He will rise.
Recorded this puppy over winter break. Here’s a cover of Coldplay’s “See You Soon.”
Adam Levine May or May Not Be Following Me On Twitter
WHAT?! Could this be?!
Perhaps, and perhaps not…want to find out?
While you’re there, retweet @UhuruChild to raise $25 for the Uhuru Child organization. The Mission: “Uhuru Child, fueled by social action, works to build relationships with people in the developing world to liberate them from the bondage of extreme poverty by providing children access to quality education and by creating employment for adults through social businesses” (http://www.uchild.com/).
If you want to do more, check out http://www.750.uchild.com/ and read about the 7fifty campaign.
Easy as that.
Thanks for your time and enjoy the rest of your day.
We walk only through the valley of the shadow of death because Christ went before us, absorbing the full impact of death itself.
Hallelujah, what a Savior!