Monday, May 28, 2012

Tree People

One year ago today I was sitting in a room filled with other soon-to-be-missionaries, for three weeks of training out in Colorado.  We were one week in, and I was overwhelmed.  I had been expecting to learn about being a missionary ‘out there’ not working on the ‘in here’ soul stuff. 
Gracias a Dios, He knew what I needed, even if I really didn’t want it!  As exhausting as it was, confronting myself was critical before plunging into cross-cultural ministry.
This morning I was reading in Mark 8 where Jesus heals a blind man at Bethsaida.  The first time Jesus touches his eyes, the man sees, but sees people who “look like trees walking around” (vs 24).  It is only after Jesus touches him again that his full sight is restored and he sees clearly.
What would have happened if the blind man would have decided that people who looked like trees walking around was enough of an improvement, and been content with partial sight?  Are there areas in my life where I prefer “halfway healed” to the patience it takes to allow Jesus to touch me again? 
Because, if I’m honest, I want Jesus to work with just one touch.  One touch, and everything is healed.  One touch, and I can speak beautiful, fluent Spanish, one touch and all the cultural differences fade away.  One touch and the women, teens and girls of El Callejon are perfectly and permanently transformed. 
I know Jesus can work in this way – He healed in one touch on many occasions.  But, perhaps there is something more He desires I learn in the waiting.    
Today is Memorial Day back in the US.  I have been living outside of America for eleven months.  It’s true that there’s a lot about the country which is not perfect. 
It’s also true, however, that we enjoy a peace, a prosperity, which few others have.  The possibilities in the US are mind-boggling.  Just go to a grocery store and count the flavors of yogurt (can you tell I really miss that?!). 
Memorial Day is a day to remember those who sacrificed so that we can live.  For me, it’s also a day to reflect back on the One whose sacrifice allows me not to just live, but to live an abundant life in Him.  That means so much more than unlimited yogurt! 

So often I’m content with the quick, but imperfect fix of partial restoration in Jesus.  Recognizing a few areas that need work, but refusing His invitation to go deeper.  I can see the tree people, and isn’t not perfect, but isn’t it good enough?
Forgive me, Jesus, my Savior and Redeemer, for being so content.  Thank you for how You have worked in me over this past year.  Give me the courage to admit those places where I cannot yet see clearly. 

Continue to work in me, I pray.  I desire a clearer picture of the world around me, of myself, of You.  Only in You can my broken places be restored, beauty replacing ugliness.  Increase my trust in You, trust that You will touch me again. 

Until all know, until all is restored, until with unveiled faces we worship You before the throne, may I be faithful.  Faithfully discontent with tree people, desiring the full sight which is only possible in You.

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