Sunday, April 19, 2009

Faith In Action

This morning I was mingling by the front doors of the school (our church) when a beautiful African woman with crutches walked through and waited inside. I humbly approached her and introduced myself and she told me her name was "Rhumbi". (I am sure I just butchered the spelling)

When we started our call-to-worship at the first service, she walked all the way to the front and sat in the first row - pretty uncommon, especially in a Lutheran church.  Then Nick W., who specifically works with refugees at Lutheran Services in Iowa, came up to the front and sat next to her.

While leading worship today, Nick was engulfed in a pretty serious prayer session with God. I could tell he he was pleading with God, from the furrowed brow and serious look on his face.

Today, Pastor Scott gave a pretty compelling talk about "walking the walk" when it comes to our faith. And then he invited "Rhumbi" to come forward and give her testimony which was heartbreaking. Seriously heartbreaking. Rhumbi was from Zimbabwe and has experienced tragedy that we can barely comprehend.  She was selected to come to America for a brighter and better future - to escape the torment that she endured in her home country.  But her testimony wasn't necessarily filled with hope and joy; she is still broken and hurt by the actions of Americans. After 7 months of being in America, "Rhumbi" said she doesn't have any friends.  And my heart was broken.

One of my favorite verses is 1 John 3:18 which reads:  "Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth."

I played my "spiritual leader" card today and told my wife that we need to sign up to join Lutheran Services "Circle of Friends" program to befriend a refugee family (or families).  What really broke my heart is that I expected to see a line of people "walking the walk" today, but I was only the 4th name on the list.  I was honestly disappointed and discouraged today.

And God's timing is impeccable. While I write this, Tim Hughes' song "God of Justice" just cycled on in iTunes.

God of Justice, Saviour to all
Came to rescue the weak and the poor
Chose to serve and not be served

Jesus, You have called us
Freely we’ve received
Now freely we will give

We must go, live to feed the hungry
Stand beside the broken
We must go
Stepping forward keep us from just singing
Move us into action
We must go

To act justly everyday
Loving mercy in everyway
Walking humbly before You God

You have shown us, what You require
Freely we’ve received
Now freely we will give

Fill us up and send us out
Fill us up and send us out
Fill us up and send us out Lord

No comments: