February 22, 2012

Sorting through a Layered Life


Two weeks of layers I wore in the frigid Ukraine lay strewn in a pile on the bedroom floor.

I have some sorting out to do.

The clothes, they sort mainly into darks. And I fear the darkness will overcome the Light.

I am a home after days of laying aside my life in small town America. I have returned, and in the midst of unpacking, I am aware that the person who packed up is not the same person who placed these things so strategically in the bag just days ago.

I am taking off layers----looking for me sitting next to a pile of dirty clothes. I wonder who I will find in this place...

I came of age in the Cold War. The curtain dropped in my young adult years. The globe I studied in Geography 1001 has become obsolete.

For two weeks I live in a place where history has been recorded for 1500 years.

I am an English teacher and an evangelist. I am a friend and a witness. I am an ordinary woman calling people to an extraordinary God.

This going required me to absolutely focus, to be honed in to sharing Christ---- first by extending love and friendship, and then by offering hope through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I am overwhelmed at the intensity I feel for my new friends to have the hope of Jesus. I pray for them like they are dying because they are.

The second week, I place the New Testament in the hands of highly motivated, gifted, creative people---a gift of love in two languages, Russian and English.

It is staggering how many have never heard the truth about Jesus…..staggering. Staggering that the story of the Savior who came from heaven to earth, to fight and win the victory over sin and death has never been told to these people made to bring God glory.

I fight to be bold, but the enemy comes and accuses. The biting winter wind blew over the frozen landscape stinging the senses of this Southern girl. The cold wind is a gift. I am awakened to the snowy landscape around me, to the apartment homes towering above me. I remember...."white as snow, white as snow, though your sins be as scarlet.."

I battle the enemy. My layers protect me from his chilling accusations.

Snow reflects light. I will shine----to the glory of God. I put on Christ.

From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more. (Luke 12:48b)

I have nothing to lose and they have everything to lose. Love compels me out of my comfort zone to tell of the the Way, the One, the Hope----a Savior with open arms ready to walk through life with them all the way into eternity.

Lessons and gifts, scarves and gloves spill out of my suitcase. It occurs to me that I didn’t leave the evangelist that I am packed away in a distant land. I brought her home.

Now the challenge is to put away the darks and live in the Light---right here where I am. Is there not a world of people all around me that don't know the love of Christ?

I drove by them in the car this afternoon and I will see them in the grocery store tomorrow---here in Judea, and there in Samaria.

When will my evangelist heart hone in here?

This is the place God planted me.

Will I see it as a place to sow and harvest or I will see it as a desert place?

I went because I was sent.

Now I am home facing the challenges of living--- not in focused ministry, but living in the midst of laundry and dust bunnies.

I lift the darks to the dryer and I thank God for those who heard, who responded, opened their hearts to the saving grace of Jesus.

I weep that some turned away.

The world is big……and small.

God is big.....and uses the small, the pieced together---hearts willing to shed the layers to live the call.

Today, I will fold up the darks and put on the Light.

Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. (Daniel 12:3)

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