In between the lines

REFLECTING on my last post about how I see our current world, I think, “Of course, reality is kind of grim right now. And yes, I need to drill down to the core of my faith.”

But then what?

Indeed. What now? What do I do about the world I see around me? Should I do anything?

In Buenos Aires, we have been in lockdown here for over 3 months. It’s one of the longest running quarantines anywhere on earth. It’s truly an endurance test. Still, like the majority of people I know here and around the world, my life is good. I am fortunate.

My family is intact. I have work. I have friends. I have faith.

Even in the best of times, this is quite good. I am blessed every second of every day. And I thank God.

Emotional blender

Still, many in the world are at each other’s throats. Be it in the halls of government, in the digital space, or out on the streets—there’s a lot of fighting going on—sometimes deadly. Uncertainty is at all time highs.

And this makes us feel powerless. Or angry.

We feel great sorrow. Or deep, seething resentment.

We feel a sense of urgency to do something. Or we find comfort in our apathy.

You might decide to keep to yourself, keep your head down, and hope it all blows over soon.

Or you pick a side, and fight, tooth and nail. You’re mad as hell and want to put someone, anyone, in their place.

OR… you see between the battle lines. You see where things are falling through the cracks. And that’s where you pick your fight.

Step into the breach

It’s where Desmond Doss fought. An army medic and conscientious objector, Doss absolutely refused to carry a gun. His only weapons were his faith and God’s word. During the bloody Battle of Okinawa, a hailstorm of shrapnel and bullets forced his platoon to retreat. Doss remained alone on the escarpment to rescue 75 wounded men.

Desmond Doss fought in between the lines and won massive victories.

It’s where Princess Sofka Skipwith, Socialite Suzanne Spaak, Teacher Jeanne Daman, Chemist Anna Igumnova, Sister Maria Agnese Tribbioli and other nurses, teachers, homemakers, nannies, single mothers, and workers helped hide Jews during the Holocaust. Many of these women paid with their lives.

These incredible women of valor—all fought, and some died—between the lines.

There’s a battle going on. It’s serious. We all have responsibility. If you choose to fight—then consider the fight in between the lines. There’s plenty of fight to be had there.

Careful, the crossfire can get pretty thick.

Who are you fighting for?

The lonely, the forgotten, and the sick. Those addicted to drugs or struggling to make ends meet. The prisoners, the depressed, the anxious, the sad. The street people, the hopeless, the homeless, the friendless, and the dying…

Who’s fighting for them?

And what about my wife and kids? Will I forget about or abandon them? Even worse, will I unleash my insecurity and fears on them? Or will I seek God, get some solid faith, and provide an example of hope and stability?

Yes, politics matters. Sometimes we must protest. And if those who protest cross the line, we should protest them. If I’m looking for a fight, a conquest, or a cause, there’s plenty to be found these days.

But I’m convinced the real war—the one that makes the biggest difference—is fought on another battlefield. Jesus showed us explicitly where…

When I was hungry…

When I was thirsty…

When I was a stranger…

When I was naked, sick, and in prison…

You cared for me. You fought for me.

How will I choose to devote my efforts? The war for power is seductive. We will pervert our deepest held ideals in the name of power. We extract heavy damage on targets that never caused our deep wounds. Those filthy filth we think; they should be dealt with. And we consume our venom greedily in a misguided quest for redemption.

Where will the cycle of resentment and vengeance end?

It ended on Calvary. It ended with God, who we nailed to a cross.

Freedom. To do the will of God.

OR we can choose to directly heal, give, and care. Maybe even love if we summon up enough courage. In the eyes of God, can you possibly go wrong there?

Still, how many lives would I have to live to even make a dent? I have only one. What shall I do with this one life I have?

In my weakness and limitations, maybe I’m not ready for any of this. Not even close. But what happens if I live by faith? What then? And how many battles might be won by an army of those living, fighting, and serving together by faith?

Resist the fear and anxiety. Resist despair. Resist the temptation to rage. Resist hate and apathy.

Yes. You can do something with the anguish you feel. Pour it all out at the feet of God. Receive his healing grace. Then channel that pent up energy and frustration.

How? Seek Jesus relentlessly.  He will give you all the meaning you need now. It’s not hard to find him.

He’s there—naked, hungry, thirsty, naked, and sick—waiting for you to fight for him.

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2 Replies to “In between the lines”

  1. “Pour it all out at the feet of God…” how I wish I had! I encountered a neighbor recently and poured my heart out, believing she and I, though politically incompatible, had care for each other as I have borne her occasional frustrations. She screamed at me that I am evil, a problem and all the neighbors believe so. A very harsh lesson about keeping counsel with Jesus, only! Thank you.

    Like

    1. What a terrible experience you had… Yes, we have to be careful who we open up to. A trusted person of faith can be helpful. Still, nobody beats Jesus when it comes to opening up 100%. God bless you ekurie!

      Like

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