Saturday, August 28, 2010

"Help me be You to him/her."

Wow. Very pleasantly surprised. After posting that "Saved by an Atheist" link, a good friend who left Hope some time ago messaged me. S/he shared that the link got him thinking, about some burdens that s/he had and why s/he left Hope. Feel very touched and grateful that my dear friend would choose to share with me. And actually, was very touched by what s/he wrote. It's very real and true...

Thank God that by just being myself, posting Christian stuff on Facebook and so on... I can be a blessing to others. It's just like what Jesus said: "You are the salt of the earth... You are the light of the world." Sometimes we think we have to do so much. But perhaps it's more important to be the right kind of person than just to do the right things. For doing may not lead to being, but being inevitably leads to doing.

I wonder why we are so worried about praying in public. I think we worry about looking strange. Well, yes, we are a peculiar people, as one translation of 1 Peter puts it. Why shouldn't we be peculiar in a good way? No, I don't mean forcing. But naturally sharing and being salty. To just be ourselves, and the more we walk with God, the saltier and lightier we become. Haha. High in sodium, extra-light. :D And I guess people like salt. (Just look at today's diets lah. Once you pop, you can't stop!)

Another thought. I promised a friend who has been undergoing some discouragement and disappointment with the church not to talk about God, but just listen how s/he's feeling. :) But I prayed in my heart: "Lord, I may not be able to talk to him/her about You, nor do I think that a wise nor kind idea. But... help me be You to him/her. As You said, I am Your ambassador. So God, help me be You to him/her. In Jesus' name, amen."


I think, people, in their deepest moments of sorrow and mourning, need not so much the knowledge that God cares for them, but that they need the care. It's like a thirsty person who knows that water is good. "Yah. I know. Water is good. But bloody damnit, I need water right now!" Perhaps the most God thing to do at that moment would be to give water. Because Jesus would give a cup of cold water. Or bread. And in a strange, transcendental way, I believe that the person directly experiences God through the bread and water. (Sounds like Holy Communion? Exactly!)

If we are Christians (literally meaning "little Christs"), and we "no longer live, but Christ lives in" us, then logically speaking, we who bear His name ARE God (in terms of authority) to these people. We are His hands to comfort, His shoulders for others to cry upon, His feet to carry them through, His guts to feel compassion and so on. We are His Body. (Sounds like the Church? Exactamente.)

People may cry out: "Where is God when it hurts?" The answer is clear: "Here, in the form of Yeu Ann. In the form of Peter. In the form of Shuyi. In the form of Huanyan. In the form of Pastor Jeff. In the form of Hong Teck. In the form of little Nathan. In the form of Kin Wee. In the form of this person and that person. In the form of the Church."

Scarily true. Because so much responsibility has been entrusted by Christ to the Church (yes, to you and me) to execute His will on earth as it is in heaven. "Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." The Divine "Abdication", so as to speak.

That's why I don't find it theologically sound that we should always tell people to look up to God AND not depend on men. Yes, we may fear our sheep becoming dependent on humans. But no, the Bible tells us to be dependent on God - AND interdependent on one another. It teaches us that we must learn to love one another as Christ loved us. And our eternal destiny, in a terrifying way, does depend on how we choose to treat others, especially fellow Christians / disadvantaged people, in Matthew 25:31-46: "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me... whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for Me."

So yes, I think we have to be God to these people... to be Christ incarnate once again to help people who are blinded to help them see God. (No, I'm not advocating pantheism! But you see what I mean?)

Hmm. Something that made me think (and which I'm grateful that Peter patiently helped me understand: that I really don't have to be anyone else to make a difference and impact.) That it's really ok to be myself. :) That I don't have to act ra-ra or anything like that. But what matters is having the right character. There's so many different kinds of personalities, and all of them are fine. We shouldn't try to imitate another person's personality. But we are indeed called to imitate only one character - the character of Christ. So if we see someone having Christlike character, then "follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ."

Peter's advice was so different from the advice that I had gotten from other leaders back in my tertiary days. I was taught that I should try to be more "culturally relevant" and act a certain way in order to appeal to the "jocks" and the "more influential" people - whoever they were supposed to be.

I know that was the underlying expectation, and I did my best. But felt terrible and useless when I couldn't meet up to that set of expectation (whether it was real or just perceived). Then one of the leaders told me, when I was at my lowest, this: "I'm sorry that we can't meet your needs." Wah. That hurt a lot. As in... I felt the other people in the uni ministry saw me as a needy person, you know, one of those "he's not doing well" persons. (Yeah, I wasn't. And that felt even worse to be one of "those" people.) And felt that the leader had given up on me.

But thank God for His grace. That at my lowest point, He sent me wiser and bigger-hearted shepherds to point me back to the Way again. To remind me what being a disciple was all about. And that there is so much freedom in walking with Him - God can use you, no matter how "inadequate" you feel. People like Hong Teck, like Peter, like Weizhu, and so on. I also saw grace in people like my neighbour Andrew, and well, so many other people. And haha, there's also a dear friend who's very similar in personality to me. Just the fact that s/he's here in church really comforts me, because I know that I'm not the only person to have a unusual perspective on life and things. That it's possible to be godly and have a "weird" perspective on daily things and yet be mature - and find favour with God and men.

:) Thank God He can work even through someone like me. :D Help me have confidence in You, and so attempt great things for You. Amen.

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