I made it to Sunday School on time- a huge accomplishment for me. I know I should do better, I try – really. But even with older teen/young adult children in the house there's STILL that last minute shoe-hair-make-up-keys emergency that throws me off.
Yesterday I made it on time – because I had to get up two hours earlier to drive my husband to Macon BUT STILL – I made it and that is the point.
Not really the point but it's significant. At church as I walked down the hallway and saw the friend who teaches my class I made sure to make a joke of my being on time – it wasn't lost on her I'm sure. As the words were leaving her mouth - “we're gonna join this class because there's a missionary here to share with us” - as my friend was speaking I walked into the room. What I saw, if I'm being honest, gave me a little....jolt. So many thoughts through my mind.
First: – Okay....WHAT in the world????!!!!
Next: – That's horrible Deanna, STOP IT!!
And: – But she's HERE!! That's good.
I could not take a picture but this is similar to what I saw.....
Don't pretend this wouldn't startle you to see a woman like this in your Sunday school class. She is a missionary who has served in three Arab countries for the last three years. She must dress according to the culture...the biggest reason you can probably guess.
As she spoke to us about her experiences and shared her heart for so many of the people something became very clear. She didn't see these people the same way I did. She saw people dying without hope, without salvation, without Jesus. She saw people created by the same God who created her and in need of the same mercy and forgiveness she had known.
The scripture doesn't say “For all have sinned....worse than me” It says simply, we all have sinned and my sin separates me from God in the same way your sin does. The same God who loved me when I was dead in my sin, the same God who poured out His rich mercy over my life is the same One who desires to do the same for them.
As I thought about this on the way home from church something else struck me. As I neared my house I pressed the button to open the garage-Not a remarkable thing but it's a little game to see if the door will be up enough for me to drive straight in without slowing down and hit the button to close it before I even come to a full stop.
That's when I noticed my neighbors in the yard across the street and next door.
Neither of them go to church.
I thought about this woman willing to go to difficult countries, dangerous countries, places where the people are hardened not only to Americans but to Christ as well. She does this and I can't even manage to wave and speak and chat with a neighbor because I'm so preoccupied with getting inside, changing clothes and vegging for the afternoon. The people she ministers to could be killed just for talking to her – yet they do it anyway, a few even study the Bible with her. At great risk they do this and I can't spare a few more minutes in the heat and in my 'church clothes'.
While I don't think God is calling me to go with her when she returns to the mission field, there is a field He has called me to right here.
|My Church -First Baptist Church, Perry, Georgia|