Tuesday, 8 May 2012

This blog site keeps doing strange things. When I have figured out which is a better site to use, I'll move.

Anyway... I am an advocate for Compassion UK (I previously wrote about it here: http://justzoejustlife.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/losing-hope-finding-what-i-never-looked.html)

I read this wonderful piece this morningA group of American bloggers are in Tanzania on behalf of Compassion International, to raise awareness of the amazing work done by Compassion. Beautiful words, beautiful pictures. I love the one where the little boy has fallen asleep in his arms. It reminds me of how God works with us.

Sometimes, in gatherings of Christians, something strange happens. God seems to be forgotten. Once, when I looked for God in such a gathering, and asked ‘Where are you?’ I listened to the ‘words from God’ given by one man and was troubled. I watched the group of people who had come to the church, not because they were interested in participating in the life of the church, but because their leader(?) had been invited to speak. When he did speak, the patting-himself-on-the-back tone perplexed me. The fact that it was directed at his ‘groupies’ (for want of a better word) was baffling. There wasn’t anything wrong in his words, but they lacked any real substance; I learned nothing about the character of God.

As the first hour wore on, I sat there confused. My heart was troubled. ‘God, where are you?’ became my silent prayer.

My son needed to go out of the room so my husband stood up to take him. As they opened the door, a member of the congregation was lying on the floor having an epileptic fit. Sat at the back of the room, I realised what was going on and immediately jumped up and asked the resident doctors to help. Their composed gentleness as they knelt and assessed the woman’s condition was burned into my brain as they quietly assured my husband he could shut the door.

‘Here I am,’ said God, 'in this act of kindness.'

When I saw the photo of Shaun with the little boy, fast asleep, I sensed it again.

‘Here I am.’

Not trumpets. Not singing. Not the loudest, nor the longest, or most vehement preaching. Not the loudest, shake-the-roof worship music. Not even the building falling down with shouts of tongues and prophecy.

‘Here I am.’ God said. ‘In this act of love.’

Elijah walked a whole day into the wilderness. He stopped and sat down in the shade of a tree and wished he would die. 
It's too much, Lord,” he prayed. “Take away my life; I might as well be dead!”
 He lay down under the tree and fell asleep. Suddenly an angel touched him and said, “Wake up and eat. 
He looked around and saw a loaf of bread and a jar of water near his head. He ate and drank, and lay down again. The Lord's angel returned and woke him up a second time, saying, “Get up and eat, or the trip will be too much for you. Elijah got up, ate and drank, and the food gave him enough strength to walk forty days to Sinai, the holy mountain. There he went into a cave to spend the night.
 Suddenly the Lord spoke to him, “Elijah, what are you doing here?”
He answered, “Lord God Almighty, I have always served you—you alone. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed all your prophets. I am the only one left—and they are trying to kill me!”
“Go out and stand before me on top of the mountain,” the Lord said to him. Then the Lord passed by and sent a furious wind that split the hills and shattered the rocks—but the Lord was not in the wind. The wind stopped blowing, and then there was an earthquake—but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was a fire—but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the soft whisper of a voice.
 When Elijah heard it, he covered his face with his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. A voice said to him, “Elijah, what are you doing here?”
 1 Kings 19:4-13 GNT

‘Some people brought children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples scolded the people. When Jesus noticed this, he was angry and said to his disciples,
         Let the children come to me, and do not stop them, because the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I assure you that whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.
   Then he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on each of them, and blessed them.’
Mark 10:13-16 GNT

God is not where we expect him to be. 

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