jim elliotWhat the World Needs Now …

 

Abruptly, Jesus spoke to those wishing to follow Him, “If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will find true life.”  (Mark 8:35)

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep for that which he cannot lose.” Jim Eliot had penned in his journal October 28, 1949.  January 8, 1956 Jim Eliot and four other missionaries were killed by Auca Indians in Ecuador.  They had flown over the Auca village for months dropping gifts to win their hearts so that they might share the good news of Christ with them.

“You fellows are crazy to waste all that good stuff on the Aucas.  They will be just as mean as before,” they were told by others.  The news of this tragedy “went viral”.  It was an unspeakably cruel act.

Two years later Elizabeth Eliot, Jim’s widow, and their three year old daughter, Valerie, were living in a little house with no floor, walls or furniture in the village with her husband’s murderers in order to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to them!   In 1966 two of those Indians, Gikita Komi and Yaeti Kimo, who had participated in the murder of these five men, having become Christians, traveled to Berlin, Germany to participate in the World Congress on Evangelism.

Today our world is rampant with violence, hatred, murder and every conceivable wrong.  During the week before Easter we think about the hatred of those who cried out “Crucify Him!” They were calling for the same crime which killed those five missionaries.  Crowds crying for death in Jerusalem, the murder of five missionaries in Ecuador, a tree trimmer beaten unconscious last week as he tried to help a child in Detroit.  No matter how much evil or wrong there may be around us, the Light and Love which come from God are able to overcome.  There is no darkness so great that God is not greater still.  Now that is worth celebrating!

Git ‘er Done!

sum2007_hand_toolsGit ‘er Done!

Cleaning stalls, cutting the grass along fence lines, mowing grass, cutting down trees, putting up hay … Growing up working on the farm where my horse was kept to earn his keep was hard work! To this day it is the hardest physical work I have done. There was a lot that just had to be done. Horses were hungry. Hay could not be left out to mildew and become worthless so it had to be put up in the loft. Daily during cold winter days we had to break the ice in the water troughs so the horses could drink. It didn’t matter what the weather was or how you felt these animals looked to us for their needs, and no matter what we had to ‘git ‘er done’!

In doing my job there I had tools to get the job done: a hay hook, sickle, sling blade, bush ax, lawn mower, rake, pitch fork, gloves, sharpening file, etc. I needed to give priority to those tools because without them I could not ‘git ‘er done’.

Today in an age of unemployment, downsizing, and competition for job creation we see people as a means to an end. We use people to get things done.

God has a different way of looking at things. God uses things to get people done. From Abraham to Joseph. From Matthew and Peter to Paul the Apostle, God used family, circumstances, weather, foreign governments and even terrible injustices to shape these men and women into who they needed to be. God used things, all sorts of things, to ‘git’ THEM done.

When times are lean, or competition is great it is easy to equate human value in dollars and cents. It is easy to think of people in terms of productivity. But people are the most precious commodity in the universe. One human being was worth the price of God’s very own Child. May we be mindful of people in our lives and handle them with care and prayer.