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Saturday, April 03, 2010


Yesterday's focus on prayer and memory was good, but absolutely exhausting. More than the long hours, I think there is a draining energy of pushing back against evil in prayer.  Some encouragement came from scattering the invites and finding between 15 and 20 people showing up in the afternoon after a morning's church service, missionaries outnumbered by Ugandans, a diverse cross-section of men and women, young and old, church leaders and teachers, indigenous to Bundibugyo and working here from other parts of the country.  Praying for things like gardens and protection from thieves and justice in government and strength in marriages and even the much-hoped-for pneumococcal vaccine provision.  Praying for miracles. Later in the evening we missionaries met again, about half the team, to meditate on the Cross and then enter into a half-night of prayer.  Since our work is usually very hands-on and public, it is good to acknowledge that yesterday's work is the real deal, the hidden and effective push behind that which is seen.  Our focus for the night was from Heb 12, the paradoxical mixture of suffering and joy that characterized Jesus' approach to the cross, the fatherly scourging that draws us into the unshakable Kingdom.  We prayed for endurance to run the race, we prayed for our WHM teams in Sudan and Nairobi as well as our own, for unity and love, for seismic shifts in endemic corruption, for clear signs of new life.

But today, I feel the cost in weariness, and a rebound of discouragement.  

Which should not be surprising.  The cross was a fully costly experience for Jesus.  He gave up every vestige of wanting to be loved by others, was disfigured, misunderstood, silent, accused, revolting.  There was absolutely nothing in His walk to death that was calculated for popularity, that pushed His own agenda.  The Son of Man did not come to be loved, but to love . . the cross was a full emptying of any right or desire to demand love, an in its place a full sacrifice of unreturned love towards others.  

That was Jesus.  That is not me.  And that's why Saturday feels long, and tiring.  How to thrive in a life of giving love rather than seeking it?  I think a big answer is the continuous way Jesus prayed, which is strikingly portrayed in the movie the Passion.  Psalms drop from his lips and flow from his heart.  Patrick from our mission wrote a post about this a few days ago, the continuous prayer that taps into the power of God.  Power to love. Because I can't, none of us can. May the morning's celebration of resurrection begin there, a fresh-from-the-garden encounter with the One who has the power to love, and to share that with us.


Melissa said...

Thanks for this.
I don't know if I've ever commented on your blog before, but I love it even more now that I'm in Prague with the Stewarts. They speak of yall with such affection.
Happy Easter!
-Melissa Hunt

Debbie said...

Praying that Sunday will be everything Saturday was not--refreshing, joyful, full of peace and delight.
Received an email from your mom last week; she is an amazing woman. I know her love and support make it easier for you to be so far away.
Debbie Ferguson