Thursday, April 5, 2012
bring the light
Some friends of mine who have a ministry in the Tenderloin are doing
10 days of prayer of fasting on the roof of their building.
For breakthroughs in the darkness that surrounds them.
For freedom from the sin sickness that festers in the sex clubs and
crack houses up and down their streets.
For the peace and holiness of God
to pierce the hearts of the ones He loves so much.
For much needed provision as they bring the love of Jesus Christ
to the people of that wounded community.
In the Tenderloin, it is in your face, the pain, the sin,
the poverty, the need, the sickness, the addiction,
the hints of human trafficking, the promise of violence.
You know you are fighting against a pervading darkness.
An apparent evil.
You know without the swift and able help of the Holy Spirit
you would be lost, overwhelmed by needs
and sunk by the depravity that seems to flourish on the street corners.
But where I live? Appearances are kept up. Our lawns are trimmed.
For the most part, people eat 3 meals a day. Addictions are secret
Problems are buried. People suffer in silence.
They are plagued by indifference and arrogance.
There is a sense that Jesus is for the weak or the weirdos.
(I am both weak and a weirdo so I think I agree with them.)
There is the thought,
If we are educated and rich and politically correct,
do we really need God?
I told my cousin Gretchen last week, "I keep forgetting it's a battle."
Because it is a different kind of battle we are fighting.
This creeping coldness that hardens hearts and turns minds inward.
The darkness is still there. It has just gone underground.
Depression, apathy, selfishness, despair, and narcissism.
Materialism, loneliness, anger, brokenness, perversion, it runs rampant.
The gray thinking that sin isn't actually sin
if we don't want it to be a sin, is the norm.
The belief that evil doesn't exist....
and that we don't need saving permeates our world view.
But how do we fight it? And how do we protect ourselves from it
because heaven knows, with its slick looks,
this kind of darkness really doesn't seem quite as bad.
But darkness is darkness.
Without the swift and able help of the Holy Spirit, we will also be lost.
As I have been writing these past few months,
I have been battling some dark days.
Worry. Anxiety. Depression. Fear.
It has felt like the dark was gaining ground.
But I have had a thought.
The darkest of days is not too dark
for the One who spoke light into existence.
Matthew 4:16 says,
"The people living in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned."
Dark is dark...but light?
Light is clarity and hope and vision and growth
and warmth and salvation.
Who can hold back the sun? Or the Son for that matter?
Who can contain it?
Who can stop it from beaming down and birthing new life?
We need the dawn of his love to break over us, warm and vibrant.
We need the piercing light of his rightness
to show us the path He has for us.
We need the brilliance of who He is to heal us and transform us.
I have had the thought
that I need to climb up on my roof here in Redwood City.
However, I am not agile and that could be disastrous
so I am keeping to the patio.
But I am sending a high prayer to the heavens this morning,
a petition to the Bright and Morning Star,
and it is simply this,
"Bring the light!"
And I believe He is.