Monday, January 23, 2012


Less than two hours ago, I felt a tremor.  That’s the third the country has experienced in as many weeks, but the first one I’ve felt.  This one registered 5.1. 

When I was in Guatemala, there were also some ‘temblores’ (tremors).  I was told I shouldn’t worry about them.  A terremoto (earthquake), yes, but just a few temblores, no big deal.  Umm…  okay. 
I remember Dona Cristi calmly telling us that if there was a big earthquake, we needed to come and stand under ‘this beam’ (pointing to one by the dining area).  It survived the 1976 earthquake, so we would be safe.  Don’t go outside, go under the beam. 

Thankfully, we didn’t have to test whether the beam would hold again!  And, I learned that I really, really don’t like the feel of the ground moving.
Last week, after the second tremor, there was an evangelist in Santiago saying God was going to destroy most of the Dominican Republic due to all the sinful people in it.  He quoted Matthew 24 liberally, of course. 

(I’m always a bit amused at how every country and generation thinks these words are specific to them.  It seems a bit arrogant to assume that Matthew only recorded Jesus’ words for a small island nation in 2012. 
Even more when you go onto a website like the US geological society and see that there are earthquakes and tremors occurring pretty much every day!)
The young woman who told us about the ‘prophet’ has only been following Christ for a couple of years.  Prior to that, she lived a life very far from Him.  Through His love, He has brought her to a place of peace, now married and with only one man, spending time helping in a local church. 

All of that is terrific, and so her attitude rather shocked me.  She talked with Daisy about how much sin there was in the D.R.  As she talked, her voice got louder and more angry.  I keep telling people how all of the prostitution and drugs are wrong, but no one will listen.  They won’t listen, and now God is going to punish them. 
I couldn’t understand all of her words, but those I could made me sad.  Because this young lady, rescued, through Jesus Christ's sacrifice and love, from of the same types of sins, expressed no sorrow for the lost.  Her words, posture, gestures, were filled with anger, vindication and retribution.

It made me think about my own response to those in sin.  Yes, they are living in a way which condemns them to destruction.  But, where is my compassion?  Does my heart break thinking of those living apart from Jesus? 
Or, am I more like this believer, quick to forget my own past, eager for God to come in power to destroy ‘those people’?
I’m certainly not saying God should turn a blind eye to sin.  But, when I recognize this ‘Jonah’ attitude in myself, I have to stop and ask, Am I looking for a good vantage point to watch the coming destruction, or am I doing everything I can do to share Jesus and His power to liberate those in slavery to sin?

Oh, come on.  I don’t actually want to sit and watch like grumpy old Johan did!  I’m not like him! 
No, my response is not typically one of grim satisfaction, but of indifference.  Oh, well.  I mean, hey, they should know better.  And, I’m busy, you know, doing important stuff.

Father, forgive my sin of indifference.  You loved us so much that while we were still Your enemies, You sent Your only Son.  Thank you, Jesus, that You didn’t shrug and turn away, but instead gave everything for our sake and Your Father’s glory.  Holy Spirit, renew me, shake me up, break my uncaring heart. 
Keep me restless Holy, Almighty God, until I have done all I can to tell others about the only true rest, in You. 

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