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Hide and Seek

22August2012

Have you ever played hide-and-seek with a kindergartner?  It is so much fun because Kindergartners are really good at hiding their heads, but they fail to realize that to be hidden, their whole body must be concealed.  It isn’t their fault; it is a short coming of their developmental stage.  Sometimes I feel like I live my life hiding my faith like a kindergartner.  I never completely hide that I’m a follower of Jesus, but I’m pretty good at concealing a portion of my faith from people.  I’m pretty good at hiding my face, leaving a portion of my body showing, so others can find my faith but I don’t need to actually tell them about it.  Do you know what I mean?  I aspire to live out Romans 1:16.  “For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”  I don’t deny my faith.  I’m not ashamed of my faith.  But I don’t broadcast it, I don’t share it, I don’t show it to others.  Instead I leave aspects of my faith exposed in the hopes that someone will spot it and ask me about it.  I have a lot of growing to do in living out a Romans 1:16 life.  And this story inspires me.

South Sudan is the youngest country in the world today.  It just celebrated its one year anniversary of independence this past July.  I had the distinct privilege to break bread with Jordan, the president of the Lutheran Church of South Sudan.  This is a part of his story.

When he was 10 his dad had to leave the village.  That left Jordan, his mom and his two younger sisters.  They were the only Christians in the village.  Danger doesn’t begin to describe what it means to follow Jesus in a country torn apart by war for 50 years, and at least a part of the cause of the war was religious hostility.  Jordan’s mom was known as the crazy lady.  Crazy because every night she would gather with her three children outside of their home to give them Jesus.  She would pray with her children.  She would sing with her children.  She would read scripture to her children.  We can’t comprehend how this was pure madness and it was incredibly risky.  The people of the village began to walk past this crazy lady as she shared Jesus with them—just to see her up close.  She was not discouraged.  Every night she would pray, read, and sing.  Over time, the people who would walk by began to sit and listen.  And then, the people who would sit and listen would invite others to join them.  This nightly reading, praying, and singing began in June, 1974.  On December 25, 1974 over 100 people were baptized in this village.  Today, almost the entire village follows Jesus—and the crazy lady is still spreading hope!

In the face of persecution and possible death, this faithful woman of God was not ashamed of her faith—but she was empowered by the Holy Spirit to share it with her children, thereby sharing it with an entire village.  I am encouraged by her story and I hope you are as well.  I’m done playing hide and seek with my faith.  At least I’m making a solid effort to be done.  Will you join me?

SMN@CCD

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