Several days ago my aunt, Cheryl, emailed an old blog post from Kisses from Katie to me. In the post, Katie describes the journey of a burn victim coming to know Jesus Christ as savior and lover of his soul.
252 days of wrapping and talking and laughing and crying later, new skin covered this once dead area. The leg that so many thought was lost could walk and even run. And the man that so many thought was hopeless had been sober for over 6 months. A week later, this physically healed man walked into my kitchen as [he] grinned from ear to ear. “I believe it,” he announced, “today I believe that Jesus is the Son of God.” Simple as that.
These are the reminders I need when I see such immense pain and complete devastation of our depraved world.
Traveling the world allows you to see the wonders and beauty God spoke into existence and the creativity He placed inside man to design with our own hands and it’s breathtaking.
But what equally steals my breath is the unexplainable sorrow and darkness of the world: the starvation, poverty, injustice, sickness and death, perversion, inequality, and filth.
The Killing Fields in Cambodia. Red Light districts in Thailand, Malaysia and India. Societal outcasts of the Northern Territory, Australia. Communism in Transnistria. Heavy spiritual darkness in Nepal. HIV/AIDS in Swaziland. Starvation in Mozambique. Child soldiers, orphans, widows, lost, dying, marginalized…
Where is the justice we’ve been promised, the redemption our souls cry out for? Where is this so-called “God of love” in the midst of the hopelessness?
Then I read stories like Katie’s and remember that His ways are greater than mine, His thoughts higher than my thoughts. His love is boundless and operates in a way my mind cannot conceive. And sometimes, we have to be burned, to go through the fire before this love ever has true value to us.
In many languages, there exist multiple words for love to better explain to what degree this love operates. Unfortunately, in English we’ve come to use our one word for so many varying degrees of love that it has lost its value and authenticity.
In Hebrew, there are two specific words for God’s love: ahab and chesed. The former describes a love based on the desire and feelings stirred within the lover, the great affection toward another. The latter is a love driven by unwavering commitment and loyalty. God’s heart is moved by us and His love for us is filled to capacity (which is a whole lot when you consider there’s no limits to God).
God’s love is great and beyond comprehension not just because he’s really good at it and committed to doing his job, but because he is love.
Katie’s story is such a beautiful reminder of that. To believe that there is hope in the darkness, something bigger than ourselves working out salvation for us all, that is what we must do, feel, trust, and know when everything else ceases to make sense, when it all feels like a lost cause.
It isn’t enough to trust in God’s goodness when I see it or feel it. I believe in his goodness because I trust he is good. I believe it. I believe that he has, is, and always will be, regardless of the world and my circumstances.
Eternity is in our hearts because God put it there (Ecc. 3:11), now let’s live like it.
Around here, we believe and practice the idea that you should always be sharing your story and that we are stewards of others’ stories, too. We always tell these stories no matter how big or small because you never know what kind of breakthrough you will bring to someone’s life.
Thanks for sharing, Katie and for passing the story along, Cheryl. May we all continue to be storytellers of the work God is authoring in each of our lives.
I almost missed the signifigance of the photograph of the women, little girl and little boy in the tub.
Every picture tells a story. This one has a number of things going on beyond the obvious of the little boy by himself and the girl holding that snake.
The two women seemed to have ventured out on the canoe to do the daily shopping. Either the snake came along as a pet or was captured and killed and will be part of the evening meal in just a few hours.
What strikes me the most about this scene is the bravery of a little girl who proudly stands in a swaying canoe while she displays a snake longer than she is tall.
Is this day a better day than other days she has gone into the river? I bet not. I would hazard to guess that this day is like most everyday in her life.
Her life will be days like this many times over. The montage of days will define her, give her security and give her confidence. She will come to depend on the knowledge that her strength and skills will allow her to survive in the river valley of a harsh existence.
But she still needs a Saviour that was willing to die for her. Because for all of us, including this girl, life is more than the next day lived over and over. It’s the realization that we are made perfect by the God of the universe to know Him for eternity.
Are we carrying around a snake in our lives?
Is this snake the sin in our life, the same sin keeping us from becoming the man or women God wants us to be?
Are we standing proudly in a rocking boat?
Stay strong little girl, but listen to the people who come into your village to share a new life out of your boat and without a snake that eventually squeezes the very life from you that you thought was yours.
And go get your brother out of that tub!
This blessed and encouraged me. Thanks to everyone who shared. 🙂 Sherley
He IS love! Praise Him for that!! And when we have the Holy Spirit in us, we ought to be overflowing with that infinite love. Unfortunately for those who don’t know God, they don’t know love and the world clearly needs His love so desperately. Thanks for loving the best way you know how, Carrie! Keep writing. I miss you. ❤
Amen sister….that’s a good word. I love that verse in Eccl. God is using your gift in writing to communicate the message on His heart!