Micah 6:8

"...do justice, love mercy, walk humbly with your God." - Micah 6:8

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

African Skies

Just two days more and we'll be back under African skies. I am more than eager. It is time for me to wrestle with God, and Africa is definitely a place for wrestling. Every American Christ-follower should face the beauty and tragedy of Africa. We all should spend some mornings worshipping in a mud and tin church in a slum and then go home and remember the obscenity of our own wealth. I think it's good for our souls and good for our churches, if we can be brave enough not to ignore it.
This year we will be visiting a displaced persons camp for the first time. IDP camps are basicaly refugee camps for people who have not crossed an International boundary. They are refugees in their own land. An entire ethnic group, the Acholi, have become homeless in Uganda. They are not safe anywhere. If they stay in their villages their children are abducted as soliders in the Lord's Resistance Army. And if they go to the camps they loose their dignity, become dependent on foreign aid, and die by the thousands due to disease and lack of clean water and sanitation. There are no great choices for the Acholi. Choice is a luxury reserved for the privleged and the elite. Choice is a rare thing in Africa.
I will look for Jesus in the camp. He will not be hard to spot. The cries of the Acholi people must be loud in heaven. Jesus will be there crying with them. Join the Acholi in their suffering and you will find yourself in the company of the living God. It's a surer guarantee of ushering in the presence of Christ than even the best Chris Tomlin or David Crowder song.
Meet you under under African skies soon, Jesus. Back to the genesis, to the place where you began everything. The cradle of life. Word into flesh. Darkness into light. To the place where the earth feels young, as if creation was just back behind the last hill and Eden seems to linger around every corner. I can't wait.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Better Together

I've always known that Rick and I are better together, greater than the sum of our parts; but more and more lately I have the sense that we could do so much more if we could just streamline our energies in one united direction. If there weren't so many side projects we had to do separately...if we could find a way to make our life together and our work one seamless identity, one fluid motion.

Bryan House is becoming too big to be a side project for us, and if we're going to really make an impact on Aurora together, then we will eventually need to spend most of our time in Aurora together. I don't know exactly what the future holds, but I'm convinced that we won't see our full potential until we can focus our energy and we can work together every day towards one common goal. We're starting to think about some possible ways to make that happen. I like the idea of walking to work together, taking a lunch break together, fighting for justice and equality together, and coming home together. I know that sounds like a lot of together. You might even think it's kind of sappy. Don't get me wrong. I don't want to go through life tied together every moment like a three-legged race team, but I do need Rick to do my best and he needs me. Of that I am sure. We're a package deal.

Unlike a lot of people, I think we could be pretty successful at working together every day and being productive without driving each other completely insane. (Not that we don't have our moments.) I feel like God wired us for a together kind of work life. So I'm looking forward to the day when law school is over and when our individual vocations can finally converge and become one. Only then will we really begin to see what we can accomplish together.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Celebrating in Kibera

I heard on CNN this morning that there has been celebrating in Kibera (and all over Kenya) about Obama's official status as the democratic nominee. I can't wait to be in Kenya again in a couple weeks and celebrate with them. The impossible just became possible. Even if you don't plan to vote for Obama, you have to agree that he has a pretty compelling story. The running joke in Kenya is that is easier for a Luo to get elected in America than in Kenya. (Luo is the tribe of Obama's father and of Odinga who ran for president in Kenya and was denied victory with some fishy methods.)

Can you imagine? We might just have ourselves the first black president. I've known a lot of African refugees who have given birth to children in America and I always tell them, "This child is a natural born US citizen. He or she could be president." Now, finally, I can almost believe that what I tell them is true.