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Friday, July 30, 2010

the humble

"Now that I have seen, I am responsible.  Faith without deeds is dead, now that I've held you in my arms."
-Brooke Fraser, Albertine

*this post has officially taken me one solid week to write because I am perpetually interrupted/don't have the strength of mind to effectively say what I need to say.  Still not sure my point is getting across.  Sorry. 

It's no secret that I am a fan of the fantasy.  Musicals have always been my thing.  Something inside of me peaked with curiosity when I was a little girl.  I remember the first time I ever saw Julie Andrews sing "Just a Spoonful of Sugar."  Where did that music come from?  For days, I wondered why when I sang, there was no orchestra to orchestrate.

Now, of course, I've learned that there is no magic music that begins when someone special starts to sing.  That Ms. Andrews was lip syncing to a track she had previously recorded.  It just didn't appear out of nowhere.  I've had to settle for the music inside my head when I burst out into song in public.  Which does happen.  Frequently.

It's fine.

And though, I frequently am caught red-handed daydreaming, there's something convicting about my constant desire to escape to a make-believe world.  Why am I always in the sugar-coated "lala land?"  Especially when John Piper is screaming for me to "[Not] Waste My Life," and our time on this earth is fleeting and blah blah blah.  I probably shouldn't "blah, blah, blah" scripture.  Yaddah, yaddah, yaddah (?).

So, while I was in the Dominican Republic, I prayed that I would be exposed to the raw reality of this impoverished (in the physical, and spiritual sense of the word) country.  And boy was I ever.

The people in the Dominican Republic do a splendid job of putting up a front.  They have beautiful tourists attractions, smooth-as-marble beaches, and ocean water that is as clear as glass.  I spoke to a girl in the airport who was returning home to California from the Dominican.  I asked her why she was there, and she plainly said, "for vacation."

Nothing against vacationers.  I like vacation.  But I was sad for her.  Sad that she never got to experience the love of Christ through the reality of the impoverished land.

In our "Los Humildes" location one morning, there was this little boy who have suffered serious burn wounds.  He was playing with gasoline, and he caught fire.  He was scorched from head to toe, and couldn't even extend his arms out fully, due to the burns.  We embraced him, kissed him, prayed over him.  I turned my back to him and cried.  I didn't want him to see how the reality of his life struck my heart.

I felt like in that moment, in that place, I was awoken to reality.  And it was very hard.  And it was very convicting.  Our team witnessed several other very real things that the Dominicans face every day.  Some of my teammates saw a child get run over by a bus in the middle of the street.  We were exposed to the huge and abundant droplets of rain that the D.R. sees every rain season.

We were also told by the people that we witnessed to that they were either, a. Not Christians, b. Going to Hell, or c. Going to Heaven because of the good deeds they were doing.

Never in my years prior to this trip had I ever experienced such honesty from people when they were confronted about their faith.  The Dominican culture is such that people will do and say anything to please everyone.

But, for once, everyone was real with us.  It was a complete answer to prayers.


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