Tuesday, September 14, 2010

GOD WHERE ARE YOU ? ( part 2 )


The following thoughts in today's blog have only come to me recently. Several factors have played an interest in shaping my thinking in the months since the Earthquake, here are my thoughts.

First I ran across this short little paragraph in a book I'm reading, it is a quote from the Los Angeles Times by writer/columnist Joel Stein: " Heaven is totally overrated. It seems boring, Clouds, listening to people play the harp. It should be somewhere you can't wait to go , like a luxury hotel. Maybe blue skies and soft music were enough to keep people in line in the 17th century, but Heaven has to step it up a bit. They're basically getting by because they only have to be better than hell."

I don't know what your thoughts are after reading that but possibly somewhere between angry and offended to slightly amused, after all it is what I first thought as a 5-6 year old starting to learn about Heaven. Of course as an adult I know there is no Biblical support for Mr. Stein's view. I don't even know if he researched his facts, if he is a Christian, Jewish, Muslim or even a believer at all. The problem I have and Mr. Stein isn't alone in this, is that we the people of the church are letting others tell our story. The news media right or wrong , conservative or liberal , even those supposedly who portray themselves in the middle have hijacked our message the greatest story ever written and twist it to gain reader / viewership, political support or whatever the latest attention grabbing need is at the time.

Secondly June 12th marked 6 months since the disaster and Haiti was revisited by the national news media. One of the things they tried to imprint upon their viewership was the lack of planning, cooperation and progress made since the Jan. 12th disaster. Once again we are letting those with an agenda that is usually tied to gaining the most media attention paint a broad picture of ineptness, corruption and self centered actions of a few indict the vast majority who have accomplished a great story that doesn't get told. Many of my best friends and even strangers who know I work for a large organization in Haiti ask me what is happening there. They want to know if progress is being made. What have we been doing , what are our future plans and often how can they be a part of it? Usually they have heard , read or seen the media present the Haitian government as inept, unprepared, lacking a plan of action and a history of corruption. My response is I can't defend or denounce the Haitian government as I'm not involved in their decisions. I'm too busy to be concerned about what they are doing or not doing other than how it pertains to the plans of our organization. What I can tell is the success stories of Project Help-Haiti and so many other organizations who mobilized so quickly to make a difference in the days and weeks after. Now our organization and others are moving into new ministry areas for the next phase of recovery and that story isn't getting told near enough .

The third thing that has impacted my view is that my home church in the states has just embarked on a new ministry series for this Fall entitled "be one make one" based on the Beatitudes in Matthew . In particular for this blog post Matthew 5:13-16 more commonly know as the salt and light verses are on my mind. They start by reminding us that we are the salt of the Earth and if we lose our salty taste we are worthless in fact it says " we are worth nothing and must be thrown out for people to walk on." It goes on to say we are "the light that gives light to the world." Further more a light shouldn't be hidden it should "shine for all people in the house that they may see." The best part is we as Christians are called to be "a light for other people," to live so they can see the good things we do. "Live so that they will praise your Father in Heaven", that is a story each and everyone of us should be distributing everyday!! Now that gets me back to where I started "WHERE IS GOD?" Well He should be shining in you and me each and everyday for all to see and praise Him in Heaven. I will be the first to admit it isn't always easy and sure it is tempting to say to ourselves that there is enough other people out there speaking but if we as Christians don't speak up others will take our message and portray it wrongly. When we no longer have a salty taste we run the risk of our message being trampled under foot . When we hide our light we run the risk of it being extinguished and many may be lost in the ensuing darkness. I have memorized a little verse by St. Francis of Assisi as to how easy this process can be " Go and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ everyday and if necessary use words." In God's love, steve

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