Friday, January 20, 2012
The day is so cloudy that I have to use the lamp on my bedside table even though it's not yet five o'clock. It's cloudy and drizzly, just how I tend to like my days best. The noise from the television which so often invades my room and disrupts the peacefulness is silenced. Everything about this afternoon is stillness, peacefulness, listening, prayer.
One of the women I usually meet with every Friday afternoon is probably sitting in a funeral service as I write this. She just lost her grandson, who was never able to take his first breath. Her daughter was only five months pregnant with him, and he is gone before he had a chance at life. My heart hurts for this family. She's even asked me for prayer, this woman who has carefully avoided the topic of religion better than anyone else I've met in France. I am praying, for her and her family. I'm praying that through this experience they will come to realize their need for God. I'm praying that I will have an opportunity to share the Gospel with her when next we meet.
My head is finally beginning to feel less cloudy this afternoon too, now that I seem to be recovering from the cold my body's been fighting the last few days. With the absence of noise, of distraction, and with the presence of peace and listening, I find myself swimming around in deep thoughts.
I've been coming to this one question over and over again since September. Do Christians need a 'special' calling to the mission field, or has the Bible already given us all the calling we need?
In truth, I had that question answered in my mind long before I asked it. We have every reason in the world for missions, namely, every single soul out there who has never heard His good news and never will unless we go to them, like He came to us. This peace, this joy, this life, this mercy, this forgiveness, this Salvation that He's given to me.... it should be shared. I should not keep silent. They need to hear, they need to know. Whether they accept it or deny it is not in my power to determine nor is it my responsibility. So then what is my responsibility? To go. To tell. To love like He loves. And all because He loved me and so I love Him.
So that answers my question. Do Christians need a specific, special calling? No, though sometimes God in His grace gives them to us.
I tremble at this reality as well, because now I've had a taste of the sacrifice and self-denial involved. I know that when one crosses those borders for the sake of evangelism, one is still the same person that left home. I know that every day there are still choices to be made. I know now that working with the title of 'missionary' can bring a person face to face with their own sinful flesh in a way no one wants to experience. I know that it requires, every single little day, even the ones when one feels sick or tired or lonely or whatever it may be, it requires picking up a cross and denying oneself. But then... that is not only the requirement for missionaries but for all who desire to follow Christ.
I think about these things as I watch the sky darken until it is night, and I don't come to any conclusions. I don't know where God will take me much past July 31st of this year, except that it will be only into further levels of self-denial and communion with Him. I'm tempted sometimes to worry and to plot and plan, but He lulls me into a restful trust. When the time comes to make a decision, He'll make it clear to me. He always has before.