Tuesday, December 7, 2010

His Body

As I was having my devotions the other day, I came across these words from St. Theresa of Avila:

"Christ has
No body now on earth but yours;
No hands but yours;
No feet but your yours;
Yours are the eyes
Through which is to look out 
Christ's compassion to the world;
Yours are the feet
With which he is to go about 
Doing good;
Yours are the hands
With which he is to bless now."

What a powerful picture of what it means for us to truly be the body of Christ. This challenges me to see all that I do as a testimony of my Lord Jesus Christ. How might we change the way we live if we really thought that we were the only representatives of Christ here on earth to the people with whom we come in contact? If I was the one and only display of Jesus to someone, how might I be more intentional about the way I live? We have all been given quite a responsibility as Christ's body.

However, we are inadequate. I am reminded of my inadequacy pretty much everyday. I realize that I can't do this. There's no way I can be here in Croatia attempting to represent the Savior of the world- Who am I?...But God reassures me. He reminds me to recognize my inadequacy as an opportunity to lean all the more on Him, to trust Him in everything. He reminds me that it is through my weakness that He displays His strength.

I thank God for allowing me to be part of this journey and I continually ask Him to better equip me to be His hands and feet in a world that is hurting to know Him more. 

Thank you for following along with us and for every prayer that you have lifted up. We so much appreciate all your love and support. 

May we all seek to discover the ways in which our Father can use us to be His love, wherever in the world we may be. 


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Still Students

This week we have a huge project due for the class we're taking from NTS.  We have visited museums this week to help us along in the process of finishing it.  I think its been a great thing since often times to understand who we are now, we must look back to who we were and what has shaped us.  Of course looking at old artifacts and reading descriptions of history dating back to the 12th century to present can be a lot, it helps to see broad strokes of the complex history that has shaped present day Croatia.  It helps me to remember there is a greater picture than what is right in front of me.  Cultures, towns, people--all have been shaped by different things.  Who is this other person? 

Its been interesting to hear different perspectives from people we've talked to.  Emily and I talked with a "priest of students" on Wednesday morning.  He is a passionate man ready to stand for the truth.  Another man at one of the museums who worked there saw us examining a picture of Ban Jelačič's wife in which he began a long explanation of their marriage.  You could hear in his voice the great interest he had in the subject.  I think he may have felt like he took too much time when he finished because he said, "Sorry to keep you."  It wasn't keeping us at all!  It was great.  Another guy who I play frisbee with teaches here in Zagreb at the university level (he actually lived in Seattle for a long  time--you wouldn't guess he's Croatian by his American English accent) has written a lot about topics of Croatian issues.  In fact he told me he was invited to a party with the president last week.  He laughed and said, "There was the president, about 300 or so famous people....and me."  I can tell in his attitude when I begin to ask him questions, or say things like "I have to sit down and just listen to you sometime" that his apprecation for a shared interest comes out. 

I say all of this to say simply that Croatia is a small country, but there is such diversity of where people are at, what they are passionate about and how that shapes a greater community.  We have only begun scratching the surfaces of the rich diversity of Croatia.  It is our honor to continue to interact within this history presently.  We tread gently as we hope to continue to learn what it means to be God's people here within this broader scope.  Thanks to all for your prayers and support, and I ask that you would continue to come along side us on this exciting adventure.  Have a great day!