Wednesday, July 01, 2009


It's 1:14 am and I am too moved to not write anything. I've cried and asked God some old questions of mine that keep getting repeated, but this post has no answers (not that you come here for those). My heart has just been stirred and twisted and poured into and wrung out. Not sure what to do with that yet, but I don't have to have it all figured out, right?

I just finished reading "Scared." It was a free pdf book I downloaded a couple of days ago after seeing a promising blog write up on it. The post said that it was about a man who travels to Africa and is forced to confront many of his fears (along with hard questions about God's character). I can relate and wanted some good summer reading, but had no idea I would feel completely transported to Swaziland, face to face with the horrific and profoundly beautiful. The images were so sharp and clear they nearly jumped out at me from my screen. I fell in love with people...especially one. I want to be like her. I want her heart. She, in her pure and undefiled religion, was a gift I wasn't expecting.

This easy read was, by no means, time wasted. It follows a theme the Lord is working in my heart right now, and seems to fit in beautifully like a shiny thread in a tapestry masterpiece. I can't wait to see what He does.

I hope some of you read it. Here's one of the many excerpts that got my attention (and there are many, many more):

" But Pastor Walter kept speaking these things. Often he would get all excited and start yelling at us, telling what would happen when the kingdom of God came. I started to get tired of waiting for it.
One day, that changed. Pastor Walter was in front of the church speaking, getting all excited. I could see his spit fly out toward the people in the front row. He talked about the true power of a Christian. Power to pray for things and receive them, the power of faith “calling forth things that are not as though they were.” I asked someone about this, and they told me you can pray to God for something you want and He will deliver it. They said it worked for the Americans.
After church, everyone got up to leave except for one person. A little boy I have known since I was a baby remained alone, still lying next to the wall. Everyone thought he was asleep. His momma had died from the bad disease, so she was not around to wake him up. He had no one else to look out for him. Pastor Walter tried to wake him. Pastor Walter’s voice made me stop and turn to look:
“Hey, boy! It’s time to go now. A church is no place to sleep!Boy, do you hear me? What’s the matter with you, sleeping in God’s house like this?”
He walked over to the dusty corner. The wind blew, dirt swirled, and a few leaves rested on his clothes. I can still hear the echoes of his black dress shoes stomp on the cement floor.
“I told you it’s time to go home!”
He kicked at him gently with his foot, but the little boy wouldn’t wake up. So Pastor Walter started dragging him by the shirt toward the door. This wouldn’t have been too hard to do—Tlonge was so skinny. He was also completely filthy; he didn’t own a pair of shoes, and his clothes were nothing more than used rags. My memory of his clothes and face are so clear even now.
Pastor Walter reached down with both hands to pick him up and escort him out the door. But then he froze. It must have been the touch of Tlonge’s skin that did it. Cold, clammy, like the outside of a banana skin. I know because I hugged him after everyone left.
“Tlonge? Tlonge? Wake up, boy, Oh dear Jesus!”
Walter began to cry, slowly at first. He touched Tlonge, more tenderly now, feeling his neck and the side of his face. His sobs turned into gasping heaves as he caressed Tlonge in his arms and held him close to his chest. Pastor Walter cried like I have never seen a man cry in my life. It filled the whole church and poured out into the streets.
From that day, Walter was a different man..."