Monday, March 28, 2011

To Move a Mountain

14 When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16 I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.”
   17 “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” 18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment.
 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”
 20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” [21] [a]

~Matthew 17.14-21

I needed a little time yesterday to decompress before I could write.  Renovatus and Mosaic gathered together at the Birchcroft apartments and started to lay bricks of the Kingdom, side by side.  I've been spending the last 48 hours literally reeling from Saturday, unsure of how to explain it to folks or talk about it and give it its due justice (no pun intended)((inside baseball)).

Friday morning, before the event, I could feel the weight of the weekend creep up around me as things do that are contingent on a move of God, or people, or are the summation of a thousand details.  In defiance, I cranked my iPod up and began to worship.  Just then I saw a blue star fall right out of the dawn sky, like a heavenly affirmation.  I laughed a big belly laugh and worshiped harder as I continued the drive in.


Our plan was to deliver bags of toiletries and first aid door to door.  These bags had been distributed to Renovatus, filled, and brought back, totaling 122.  We were also planning on up-fitting the soccer field with new nets and soccer balls.  We were going to have food and drink in place, to allow us to hang out and get to know some of the residents, and have a tent set up full of nurses, nursing students, doctors, and E.M.T.'s, giving free medical assistance.  We labored and thought critically and planned and worked, all the while hoping we were pleasing our Lord and making room for His arrival.
Saturday rolled upon us and looked more ominous than I had it pictured in my head.  It looked like a sea of rain was going to fall right on our heads.  I felt the Lord all day though, speaking softly that it wouldn't matter.  Whether or not we had enough bags, or there was enough food, or the heavens released their rain on us, or we couldn't speak any of the languages of the people around us.  It wouldn't matter, because He was going to be amidst us, and that was all we would need.
Now, having all of the introduction out of the way, I need to try to tell you what I saw that day, but I'm not exactly sure how.  What I saw, filled me with energy.  It gave me fuel to run on for miles and miles.  It filled me with a sense of purpose and adventure.  It slapped my face to wake me as if I had been dreaming some useless dream for a time, calling me into something Real.  What I saw brought tears and laughter and wonder back into the forefront of my life, and I welcomed it in like a starstruck teenager meeting their favorite celeb for the first time.

I saw a mountain move.  Well...several actually.

I'll preface, because I always feel the need to preface, that I don't chase things that are miraculous.  I don't look for swirling vortexes of the spirit or knock people off of balance and shake my hands in the air or claim to have any supernatural powers of my own.

I am unlearned in the ways of miracles.  I can not recant for you specific exegetical bible studies I have come across that have enlightened my opinion on them.  I can't unfurl theological rhetoric on the "Feeding of the Five Thousand".  I can only talk about what's been shown to me, and tell you that I'm completely comfortable with the mystery of everything else.

Bump variety.  Mystery is the spice of life.

A father finds out he and his wife are 
pregnant at the medical tent.

We put our arms around people from all over the world.  We told them they were loved and welcomed, and that we would be here to help them as they entered this new life here in the States.  We collected 119 bags and there were 119 doors that opened to us.  There were 3 people who came to us late in the day, saying that they missed us when we were giving out the bags and were wondering if there were any more left.  Each time, someone would pull up late from Renovatus with a bag in hand, apologizing for not bringing them by the office earlier in the week.  The rain did little more than a drizzle all afternoon until we started to wrap up, which, if you stepped outside on Saturday, you would agree...that was no small miracle.

I suppose you could look at it as coincidence, and I couldn't blame you.  It's easier to look at things like this and explain it away.  It keeps control in our hands so let's can get a little bigger.

On the other hand, there are those who wish and hope for a move of God.  The want to see the sea part, and the locust descend, and the bread divide, and the seas calm.

I don't think I fit comfortably in either of those categories, but please feel free to correct me if I'm off.  I hope I'm somewhere in the middle, learning as I read ancient texts of Old Testament mystery, while working in a New Testament Kingdom of Heaven right here and right now, all the while wrestling with what Jesus meant when he said; "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father." ~John 14:12

What I find, after a day like Saturday is this:  We live in a place where the Christian tradition is common place and ordinary.  The Church is resigned to an event you attend on a Sunday morning or  has become as frank a task as putting on your tie for work or hitting up the Starbucks on your way in.  You could walk into a coffee shop and strike up a conversation with a stranger, and 8 / 10 at some point in that conversation get asked "What church do you go to?"  We have lost Her mystery and beauty in the hustle and bustle of the every day, and what's worse, I see people who don't even believe that the God of the Bible can do what is written.

I think the reason for that is simple.  People don't make a practice of putting themselves in a posture of requiring faith, nor are they enamored enough with the Object of their faith.  We have fallen in love with useless gods who offer us nothing and can do nothing.  They neither hold the stars with their word nor move the hearts of man with their promises.  It's our fault, not His.  A part of us craves an adventure while another holds us on our couches, afraid to miss what we D.V.R.'ed.  In the noise of our un-attuned lives, miracles of all sizes float right by, and our souls are left thirsty.

Not me.  No sir.  I may be awful at it, but I want to see the Kingdom come and His will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.  I am convinced that there is no other alternative to Real life.  I want to see so many mountains move, that the wonder of it slips further and further away from the mountain itself, and to the One who moved it.  I want a life so full and so steeped in the presence of my King that watching Him remove an obstacle in my path is as un-itrusiveness and ordinary as Him opening a car door.

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