International Ministries

Awakened by tragedy

November 2, 2008 Journal

It’s 4 am.  The night creatures are busy, trying to fill the void of silence left in the absence of the usual traffic on the river-side road.  I cannot sleep.

There was a memorial service held yesterday here for a young man.  Over 200 people attended, most of them under 30.  The young man did not die because he had an imperfect body, an undetected disease that brought his life to a sudden end.  He was not killed by hasty decisions, a car accident or sports injury. We would consider these “acceptable” reasons for the death of a 24 year old college senior.  We would say “what a shame” and, after some awkward, uncomfortable moments, turn away.  

This young man was killed by an imperfect heart.  Someone else’s.  

Pitolu, and his friend, Dometrust, had left their dorm to buy T-shirts.  As one of the leaders in his Nagaland Baptist Youth Fellowship, he had the task of designing and then purchasing the printed shirts that would be used for activities for the coming year.  They ended up being “at the wrong place, at the wrong time”, because on Thursday, October 30, nine bombs went off in the state of Assam, India.  Around 70 people were killed, including Pitolu, and over 350 more injured.

India continues to be a country of unrest, a place where power and greed often take precedence over human life.  It is a country on the edge of becoming a modern nation, while holding on to the beliefs that belong to an older time.  Here there is much talk of “demon possessed” individuals, not just in small villages, but also in the larger cities and towns.  We privately scoff at the idea, and yet we admit that Satan will never hesitate to use any machination for success.  The idols of Ganesha, and Kali are merely facades of his true nature.

But these situations are not exclusive to India.  Greed and power are the guiding forces that run many businesses and homes in the United States.  Security, physical as well as emotional, is no longer a feeling that rushes over you when you lock the door at night.  I wonder how my mom, who died earlier in the year, would react to knowing that her daughter stood less than 40 yards away when a bomb exploded and killed 7 people.  But, then, I realize that even if she does know, her concern is no longer focused on my current life, but on the one that comes after.  She knows real security.  We still stumble about, searching.

As Christians, we are comfortable in maintaining a “hands off” attitude.  Unless someone we know is affected (and sometimes not even then), we stand back and say little, or nothing.  The slaughter in Orissa recently brought to our attention the plight of global Christians.  How many more “awakenings” do we need? Are we content to know Christ for ourselves and not share His gospel?  Or is that someone else’s job?  Do we willingly support trusted organizations with our funds to carry out the work of Christ where we are unable to go?  Are we working with the poor and needy in our communities? Or do we, as able bodied citizens, give tax deductible money to benevolent funds for others to distribute? Do we mentor the young people in our churches? Or do we believe that our so-called “role model” and distant lives will somehow positively influence the lives of our youth? Should we even consider ourselves appropriate role models for our own children?

Mulneix2008nov1The slogan, “Let Go, Let God” is popular right now.  It presents the attitude that God is the only force that can bring about change.  Correct, but….. As Christians we should be fighting and praying and wrestling with our faith in a continuous battle.  Paul believed that we must be actively involved BECAUSE God is working in us.  The public sign of the personal belief.

The battle between God and Satan continues.  More lives will be lost.  More tragedy will touch us.  Each of us.  More families will be affected by abuse, drugs, death, evil.

What is God asking you to do?

Its 5 Am., but I can no longer sleep. There is another memorial service today, if the body is found.