Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Post-It: Compassion

Evelin Argentina Reynosa,

I don't know what it's going to be like when someone informs you that you are a sponsored child. How does a nine year old process something like that? Joy? Praise? Shock? We are on an adventure together, Evelin. From now on it's me and you. I will sponsor you with my money, and you will sponsor me with your heart. Together, we will give glory to God with our lives. There's so much I want to tell you, but you're only nine. Nine years old, and you are the child God is using to free me from the chains of sin. I can't tell you that I come from a family that is a slave to money. Money is the source of our strife, our fears, and our security. How could you understand? How could you understand that we are starved though we eat like gluttons? How could you understand that money is crippling us from being free from this world? I want so badly to tell you that I am running, running away from all the things that are keeping me attached to this world, but somehow I always find myself back in my own fortress of comfortability. A fortress that seperates me from the Almighty God. Our God who sent His Son to the cross to carry the weight of my shame. I build my fortress with the same money that He has blessed me with. I buy and buy and buy until the walls of my fortress are so high they thwart the Son from relaying the light to my soul. But you, you Evelin are the hammer God has chosen to break those walls. He will use you to free me, but how do I tell you that? A nine year old? God has chosen Evelin, a nine year old, to free me from my idols, and maybe one day free my family as well. So how do I tell you that? A nine year old? I guess I'll start with this:

"Hello Evelin, my name is Alex. I want to tell you that Christ has brought us together in His great love. My prayer is that we grow in faith together. Jesus loves you, and so do I. You are beautiful in the eyes of our God. Don't ever forget that. Know that I am praying for you and your family as you guys are now my family as well."

With all my love, Alex

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Post-It: Monophobia

I have to say these listless days and restless nights in the intermission of my life have been most perplexing. I'm scared to be alone. Physically, it wouldn't bother me either way if I was next to someone or not, but if I was spiritually stranded, my heart would be in chaos. I've been learning how often I substitute your spiritual presence with the companionship of fellow believers. I suppose everyone has their own stimuli that keeps them from feeling alone. People may say that they don't mind being alone, but they must have never thought of it in the big picture. Everyday we surround ourselves with things that link us to people in this world. Facebook, Twitter, Email, and text message are new and extremely effecient ways that we can easily stay plugged into this world. Still, if anyone has managed to avoid the pull of social networks and instant messaging, than they most ceratinly haven't felt the anchoring feeling of mentally being isolated. Feeling like you are truly alone does not exclude the comfort of knowing someone out there cares about you, someone is thinking about you, someone out there would care if you were gone. Monophobia: the thought of being alone, or even the irrational fear of thinking you're alone or being away from a place or person that gives you a feeling of safety and security. The want in my heart is for me to recognize how deep your love goes. Even in my darkest place, your light shines. Heres my looming fear: if everyone around me were to all of a sudden forget about me, would I be left with a weak faith barely standing on solid rock. I spent a whole semester last year telling myself that your glory would be revealed in my loneliness because I would realize my need for intimacy for you. Well, now I realize my need for intimacy with you, but I haven't done anything about that. I haven't marinated my heart in your word, I haven't filled my cup with your water, I haven't fully taken on your yoke. This whole time I've been supported in my walk through the fellowship of believers, but it's time I practice more fellowship with my father. My love for your creation will only go so far as my love for you. Hold my heart, oh Lord. Father, take my heart and seal it. Thank you for the blessing of community in which I find encouragement, and thank you for your faithfullness in which I will never be alone.

your son

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Post-It: The End?

To whomever,
You ever get that refreshing feeling after you have just finished an awesome book you've been reading for a while? You know, the feeling of accomplishment mixed with pride and add in a little relief? Or, most importantly, maybe you feel enlightened or rejuvenated because you've just closed a book that taught you so much about life? Recently, I have been entertaining the idea that our lives might just be like a book. Filled with protagonists, antagonists, themes, plots, foils, climaxes, beginnings, and ends, it's the story of our lives.
In just a few short days I am going to be saying goodbye to a lot of people who, throughout the course of three months, I've grown close to. It's not easy for me to say goodbye. In fact, I dread it, but it's a part of life. It feels like this is the end of us, or as we like to say the end of "OT10." Sure, I may see some of these people again, but I will not get to serve with them in any respect like this summer. We traveled over 11,000 miles together, we ministered to thousands of students in the name Christ, and we spent almost every waking moment in each others midsts. Indeed, saying goodbye is going to be hard, but not impossible.
I've started cataloguing the events and memories of this summer and sort of processing them into the grand scheme of things in my life. Specifically, I've tried to bookmark all the things I will walk away from this summer and say "I am stronger now." My heart is at peace with God. Walking in step with 25 wonderful people who are walking in step with the God who reigns has a way of bringing you closer to the Kingdom. Back to my goodbyes. Goodbye van world: Backstreet Boys, Man Van, and NeedtoBreath; goodbye late night dance parties: krumping, swinging, and whatever Tucker wants to call his dancing; goodbye to the laughs and smiles of everyone OT10: jam sessions with Brett, Trent, and Ryan, volleyball with brother and sister, and Fourth of July with the most patriotic people I know. I completely agree with Alyssa Atkeisson, "Camp is what you make it," and we made it great. I will look back with nothing but fondness and laughter.
I'm turning a new page, and I'm leaving one of the best chapters of my life. If my life was a book, this would be the chapter that would recharge the plot of the entire book: a love story with the prodigal Father who loves me. Instead of closing the book on this summer, I hope to see where the story goes from here. God is creating a novel, a work of art, that is going to reflect his glory. My only hope is that we all allow this summer to bring us closer to the way God wants to live our lives.
So maybe this goodbye will be hard, but I wouldn't have it any other way. God is growing my capacity for love. Hopefully one day I will love like he loves. It should be difficult to say goodbye to people you love, not because you can't let them go, but because you have allowed yourself to be vulnerable with them and God has blessed that. My heart is leaving this summer with 25 more people to love. 25 more people to encourage and be encouraged by. 25 people to call brothers and sisters in Christ. In my opinion, my heart is now 25 times stronger and 25 times bigger. Thanks OT10.
- Alex