Wednesday, 27 June 2012

The Garden of God.

The other day the pastor's landcruiser was at the mechanic's for some repairs. 
So before we could head to the church for lessons we had to go and pick it up.
...Not literally pick it up...its huge.

Now, for those of you who know me well enough,
it should be no surprise to you why this truck, also getting work done,
caught my eye.
For no matter what I end up doing,
there is definitely still
--and I hope always will--
be a love for animals and for nature that runs through the deepest parts of me.
So when I see the truck with the World Wildlife Fund stickers stamped to the doors and tailgate,
something in me gets excited. 
My heart jumps a little as I remember my childhood dreams
of traveling the world to find, 
admire, preserve and teach about animals.

A dream dashed by the first year chemistry class
 of the University of Guelph's wildlife biology degree.
That's not entirely true. 
But my inability to flourish in science and math did definitely play a part into
my pursuing philosophy and then onto theology and intercultural studies. 
God has his ways.
And even yet, 
though He has guided me down a path different than those of my childhood expectations,
still, more than remnants of awe for His creation do remain in my heart.  
The scenes He creates remind me of Him.
It rained all last night and this morning.
 A welcome change as, a month into dry season, the dust was beginning to pick up.
The difficulty of the rain comes, however, when the water meets the dirt roads.
What was once a bumpy, hard path, becomes a slick mudway,
and the potholes, or craters I should say,  become small lakes.
This morning, I embarked on a small expedition down the road,
around these lakes and over those mudways,
 because I had run out of bread.
I safely made it to the shop and successfully purchased a loaf of what the sign and the bread bag assured me was 'toast',
it was just bread. I can't see that pre-toasted bread would ever take off.

Now, on my way back from buying bread I saw a white dove in the muddy streets.
To me it was a stark contrast to see this bird in these streets filled with mud and littered with trash.
I wondered how it was able to stay so white;
and there was a moment which arose in between dodging traffic, 
hopping around puddles 
and trying not to slip in front of everybody watching.  
There was a moment on the dirty streets of Bukavu
that  I was reminded of how God is here.
A strong metaphor of God's Spirit in this place.
When I saw that bird my heart rested,
just as it had when I had seen the butterfly on my drive with Raha.
And, I think, that if you unpack those moments you would find
that the heart's rest came because I was reminded that even in the midst 
of hundreds of thousands of people striving to make their way,
even in the midst of a  a war-torn country
there is peace.

I thank God for the little pieces of Heaven here on Earth that remind us of Him.
And I hope that we, especially we as Christians,
are doing our best to be good stewards of the property lent to us while we are staying here.
I hope that I never develop an absolute apathy towards these things 
which are such constant reminders of God,
which give peace of heart in the midst of war.
Forbid it that I take what God made and said was good,
and ever treat it as if it were a mistake.

God can be found all around in the life He commanded to spring up from the ground,
from the water, in the air; His breath is everywhere.

Moses saw the glory of God in the burning bush.
I want to be so filled with wonder,
and my spiritual eyes to be so open,
that I see God's glory in every bush,
every flower, rock, bird and tree.
So that I cannot help but find rest and give God praise in the midst of any circumstance
because I am so overcome and surrounded by the beauty that He has planted
and cared for on this earth, and that I am unable to deny it as His craftsmanship.  

When I feel the wind, I feel the breath of God.
When I smell the flower, I smell the fragrance of His grace.
When I taste the food from the ground, I taste His goodness.
So that when I hear the bird, I hear His voice.
So that when I see life, I see God.

May I tend to the earth and all within as if it were the very garden of God. 
Because it is.

Prayer Requests:

The pastor's computer was stolen today from his house today. Luckily nothing else was taken, however the computer contained a lot of information over the years from community development projects, sermons, and personal information so it was a big loss. Please pray that a replacement could be found quickly, or best yet, 
that this computer with all its contents can be recovered. 
A miracle is what we wanna see!
Also, I'm heading with the pastor to Uvira from Thursday until Saturday. Its a number of hours south and a bit more interior.
 So please pray for safety on the roads and throughout travel 
and that we would find the people there well and that God's hands at work would be evident.

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