Haiti has been hit with an earthquake which has brought massive devastation on the already incredibly poor country. With untold numbers of causalities and dead bodies lining the streets, the people and country are in deep need. I am so very impressed with the compassion of the world to come alongside the country which is hopeless without this undeserved grace. Haiti doesn’t have anything to offer the other countries of the world neither before this disaster and even less-so afterwards.
Not surprisingly, I’d love to go over there and help in whatever capacity I can. I have been blessed by so many others that I am compelled to do the same (not from a sense obligation or guilt) because love begets love. As I think of this idea of sacrifice, love and faith in light of what I’m currently studying (the Gospel of John) – other ideas begin to connect.
My Hope and Salvation (Jesus Christ) humbled himself as the Creator to become the created. He was deity who chose (for no good reason) to come as the most ordinary to relate to his beloved (all of us). Jesus said of his faithful forerunner, “Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist” (Matt 11:11). John fearlessly lived out his faith by fulfilling his calling – to proclaim repentance and the coming savior of the world, Jesus the Christ. His public calling for repentance angered the powerful – religious, noble and military – which led to his martyrdom only a little more than year after he began. Jesus faithfully obeyed God the Father for three years before humankind rejected his message and demanded a gruesome torture and death because his message was so contrary to our natural selfishness.
I thought of these ideas as I’m running up the final hill to my house the other morning. And, I asked myself, “If I go to Haiti, what opposition would I run into?” Most notably, I believe that my physical safety could be jeopardized and that well-meaning and caring people would advise against such an endeavor. Then, this verse (Phil 3:8) finally made sense (going from head to heart) – “I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”
For me, there are many things I want to believe and then there are the times when I realize that I actually do truly believe them. The ‘rubber meets the road’ (when life gets difficult and tragedies hit my relational life, financial situations and family members) is where the training is proven. So, that morning I honestly said to myself and God, “I consider it an extreme honor to die in the name of Christ (for I am entirely unworthy), if I can live out God’s call for my life even one day.”