I struggle over what I should share and what I shouldn’t. I believe that authenticity is worth its weight in gold, yet there’s still a little piece of me who wants people to think just for one tiny little second that I’m something great. God and I both know that just how far that is from the truth, but it would still be nice for someone to think it…just for a little bit. I mean, all missionaries are super Christians, right? I can hear about twenty different Dar missionaries that I know burst into hilarity right now. I know exactly how they’d respond to this. It doesn’t take a super Christian to fly halfway around the world to a third world country and plop themselves in the middle of the dust, heat, roaches, mosquitoes, and the locals. It doesn’t take a great man or woman of faith to say goodbye to friends and family and all that’s familiar to serve a different tribe and tongue. What it does take is a great God.
I can honestly say that I’ve been one to exalt missionaries to an undeserved pedestal. Why? Because I wanted to say that they are super Christian and I am not, therefore I would never be qualified for the mission field. I could never handle it. Only those with A’s on their spiritual report card get sent there. It put a comfortable distance between “them” and “me.”
Well, let me tell the truth. I can’t handle it. I wake up on many mornings completely perplexed as to why I am here. I’m frustrated to no end with inconveniences and interminable discomforts. I wasn’t exactly passing “Thankfulness 101” in the states. What made me think I could pass “Thankfulness 400”? My toilet is broken for a month. I curse the landlord in my heart. Church is outside and I sweat like a pig the entire time. How could God expect me to praise him when all I can think about is the nearest cold shower? The internet is broken, a rat ate my headphones, I have bedbugs, the mosquitoes are eating me alive, someone stole the pictures from the letter my mom sent me……. poor me. Where is the “escape” button? Yeah, super Christian. Right.
Here I am, once again desperately needing the grace of my Father to fall all over the dust and dirt of this earth that covers me from head to toe, and to do something miraculous with these five loaves and two fish. The camp director at Camp Tadmor, my old summer stomping grounds, showed this video to our counseling staff many years ago. I will never forget its imagery or his words when the video ended:
“Yes, you are in this video, but you’re not the one pushing the chair.”