Sunday, December 2, 2007

Blessed Be Your Name

This past weekend …
Singing in church a song that is familiar, but now has new meaning, was quite an experience. Well, to be more honest, I was having a bit of a melt down. Here is the background ...
I just spent several weeks in Africa, seeing lots of wonderful friends, making some new ones and delving deeply into life there.
Through my good friend, 'Mama Tillie' (AKA Tillie Lichty), we arranged to spend time with Alex, a Rwandan refugee in Kampala, Uganda. He is a young man in his mid-twenties, a survivor of the genocide and marginally employed. However, this young man has a big heart and he has filled his small apartment with orphans and abandoned kids, 11 people in all! Four of the kids are HIV positive through no 'sin' of their own, and they must take antiretrovirals (ARVs) two times per day.
They are cute kids, in a home filled with love with lots left over to share with Tillie and me! One evening, I decided to read to them about Jesus, so I get my Palm Treo Phone with my travelling Bible and began to read. What an experience! The kids loved the story and the electronic Bible, taking turns reading out loud to me. Absolutely precious!
As Alex re-joined us, I played a couple of worship songs on my phone and soon these kids were signing along ... Blessed Be Your Name, on a road marked with suffering ... you give and take away and, Every blessing you pour out I'll turn back to praise. The context was so real!
These kids live on a road marked with suffering. Tears filled my eyes and my prayers that evening.
Back to my church service, and we are signing that song again ... well, in a moment I'm back in the crammed room in Kampala with those kids singing to me and to Jesus. I feel my body begin to shake as their faces come to mind. I try to sing, but my emotions quell my voice. Being the proud male that I am, I leave the auditorium and stand in quiet place in the hall, crying for kids who I may never see again!
In that moment, I once again commit my life to serving the poor Jesus loves so much. And again, I begin to understand why he loves them.
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