09 May 2016

burned

Thursday night, we met an old friend from language school in downtown Cap-Haitien....you know, the French Immersion program we had to do in Quebec, Canada in the middle of winter in 2007, so that we could move to Haiti in the middle of summer?
He travels around the world helping train lab techs and helping with equipment, and it had been NINE years.  I saw on FB that he was going to be in Haiti for 4 short days, at a clinic only 90 minutes from here, and we fought to make something work so we could see James.
After 9 years of not talking and seeing each other only on Facebook, we plopped around a dinner table in town, now three little people extra, and started in asking about his kids and dear wife and work and church and life.

And dear friends?  He DOVE.

You know what he told us?  Exactly.  No drama, no disguise, no partial, no short-versions, no twists.  He was utterly unconcerned with what we might think or how we might judge, and instead trusted Christ-in-us to be faithful.  He hid nothing because he had nothing to hide.  James is deeply-rooted in our Father, and so as brothers and sisters, he shared his heart.

There was no boast.  There was no apology.  How he is--how his family is, where he struggles and where he celebrates--was how he was with us.
He told us what was beautiful, and he described to us the ugly and painful.  He shared victories and joys, he shared past and current agonies, stating simply, "I would love for you to pray about this with Cindy and I.  It's incredibly challenging for us because..."

We only had 90 minutes, but because of his transparency and depth, we were released to be transparent and true, and after 90 minutes and a time of prayer together, we went out into the night our separate ways, and it. was. good.

I was so inspired.  By his confidence in Christ.  By the way he was only hidden in Christ. By his willingness to be real.  By allowing us to be.

We have all been burned, and it makes us think that we have to hide and be small and be careful. To only share what cannot come back to bite us.  To only cast ourselves in a light that shadows our weaknesses.  To only dwell where we're comfortable, instead of stepping out on a Mighty and Loving God.
Can I challenge us tonight?

Give Him you burned, and let us be real.  Let us be brothers and sisters, as He asks us to.  Let us root deeply in Christ, giving Him our insecurities and fears, and be true.  Let us listen without judgement, loving as family, weeping alongside, celebrating as if it were our own victory, sharing deep that other might, too.  Going "there", that we might encourage and challenge each other in Christ.

You will be burned again.  Sharing my heart through this blog has burned me 10 dozen times. I have wanted to NEVER put myself out there again.

Give it to the Lord, apologize when you need to, and keep on, dear heart.  It is not about trusting others with our hearts.  It's about trusting HIM with our hearts, and giving it away to others.
It is where our refining and holy community exists.

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