“STOP IT YOU CAN’T TOUCH THAT!” Stan belted. He looked like he was about to sit up, but simply rolled around 360 degrees into the same position.
“Stan? What’s wrong? Are you okay?” I asked, startled from my beauty rest.
“It’s the pediatric [muffled word]. You can’t touch.” He huffed.
“Are you dreaming?”
“No. I’m sleeping.” Immediate snoring ensues.
He’s funny even in his sleep.
Back in Ruma, a town nestled in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, a very energetic man bounded down the hill to meet our team and carry our bags. He wore a short lungi, a wrap that was meant to be modest, and a t-shirt. He was thin, dark, and wrinkly. The Bengali missionaries told us that this man had once been in the grip of the enemy, suffering physically from a mental disability. He was abused in a horrific way, with details recreated from scenes in Sodom and Gommorah. His body was used by men. His spirit was trampled upon.
And in the town of Ruma, the burgeoning Church took him in and shared with him the love of Christ, against all that was culturally accepted. The Church stuck by him and became part of his story. Not passing him off to the next good samaritan, not passing him off to the pastor. The Church, changed by the Gospel, recreated the Gospel. I don’t know what he was like before we met him that first day in the small hill town, but you could tell that a burden was lifted from his shoulders. Fear was defeated. Joy took over. And that same man eagerly awaited our team’s arrival, and just as eagerly lifted as many bags as his thin body could handle onto his own shoulders. We hiked up a steep hill to our host family’s home, following this man who was so committed to serving strangers. Death was and is and forever will be conquered.
The same power that conquered the grave lives in me. Sometimes I feel like my life story isn’t interesting enough and mediocrity gets the best of me. Maintaining the status quo becomes my greatest challenge, and I wait, as uninvolved as can be, for the next thing to happen. Shame on me for muting the same power that has conquered death, silencing it so much that my will is the only thing I hear. Here is a God who frees and redeems outcasts, a God who gives all the treasures in heaven to undesirables. Shame on me if that doesn’t break me today.