We live in Mwanza, Tanzania, serving with Emmanuel International helping local churches in physical and spiritual ministry.

Friday, 20 February 2015

There will be No Need for Darkness and None for Tears



Yesterday I listened to this song by The Gray Havens ("Far Kingdom") and just cried, tears streaming. I cried for the shock and sadness of suffering for Tim's dad who this week was diagnosed with a brain tumour. For family hurting far away. I cried the sweet tears of goodbye for my Grandma whose funeral is on Monday and tears of sorrow for my Grandad left behind. For my cousin, who at the same time was hours in surgery. Tears of confusion wondering where we should be. And I cried tears of outrage and sadness for Ester, a mother in serious condition here in hospital with machete wounds from the attackers who kidnapped her 18-month old son, Yohanna with albinism. Tragically, like so many others, his little limbs were later hacked off for witchcraft and his mutilated body left a few miles away. Tears for the fear of many with albinism (including Ester's other two young children) and their families as the election approaches and the witchcraft practices escalate. Tears for myself, so helpless to do anything. Tears for a broken world.

But there will be no need for darkness and none for tears.

Inspired by the writings of C.S. Lewis and Jonathan Edwards, David Radford wrote this song, "Far Kingdom." The song poetically and musically expresses our longing for the world to come, but this a longing in which we find an earthly joy now. I felt that longing. A longing for a kingdom without tears.

As C.S. Lewis said, our life now is “an unsatisfied desire, more desirable than any satisfaction.” Our hope is not ultimately in this life (which will always have its darkness and tears), but in the one to come. And here in this hope is joy. There really is joy in the longing.

How much more we can know God now if we long for this eternity. How much more we will find our joy in Him today as we long for this eternity! How much more we will see the beauty in the tangles now as we look towards what is coming? If there was no suffering, would we know compassion? Would we know true love?

The compassion and love of Jesus is real and he wants us to share it. So in the midst of suffering, we pray for healing - healing for Tim's dad, healing for my cousin, healing for Ester. And in the midst of darkness, where evil and witchcraft penetrate, we shine the light. And in the midst of sadness, in the midst of the brokeness, we find joy in the longing and the hope.

May this eternal "not-yet" perspective always be now transforming us and others through us.

You turned my mourning into dancing, you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God I will praise you forever. Ps. 30:11-12


For more on the tragic attacks see the links below ... and then pray.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-31518397

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/18/kidnapped-tanzanian-albino-boy-found-dead-with-limbs-hacked-off?CMP=share_btn_fb

3 comments:

  1. Praying for you and all those you mention. Blessings.

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  2. Crying and praying hardly any words - what can be said? Such dark times...keep shining. Such a sense that you're in the right place even though it must be so so hard right now. xx

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  3. Thank you so much. So appreciate the prayers and you sharing that with us.

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