Posted by: thaufler | June 29, 2010

Not sure I will ever truly leave here…

This has been for us an unexpectedly rich voyage for Alicia and I, and I want to try to encapsulate a few moments for you so you can hopefully share the intensity we have felt.

Tonight while frantically passing through the streets where cars rule, lines mean nothing, lights are ignored, and pedestrians look more like targets than people; where the first things to wear out are the horns and brakes, and the bumpers of many are missing, we saw a group of three children wearing rags I wouldn’t use to wash my car wandering between the stopped cars with their hand out begging for money while their parents watched. One child no more than five, dirty from head to foot sat on the curb while his older more experience brother of eight dodged in and out of cars begging from an ignoring crowd of motorist.

We arrive at our destination, a block from the previous scene, and our interpreter and Alicia are invited up to nurse our sick agency director while I am encouraged to sit on the outside patio under a grove of grape vines, pear trees, and another tree with an odd apple shaped fruit that has the consistency of a plum. The matriarch of this single family dwelling which is extremely rare in this city is walking through the shady paths of the garden sweeping the droppings into a pile; a garden full of what looks like herbs with the random flower. After dozing off I wake to this sweet woman offering me a glass of water, which I haven’t had here because of my weak constitution, but I’ve learned not to refuse anything these proud people offer you, so I take it and drink. About thirty minutes later she comes out and says something to me I do not understand, I motion that I can’t understand, so she repeats herself as if I didn’t hear her, so I smile and shake my head erratically while waving my hands attempting to signal I don’t understand but I am perfectly fine. Apparently I communicated that I would like whatever she was offering because her daughter delivers me coffee and candies in the finest china I have ever used.

So how do I process these two scenes? After writing the first and almost convulsing with tears from the memory of it, and the second glorying in the graciousness of these people, which is universal… everybody’s like this! The first has me saying, ” WHERE ARE YOU GOD?”, and the second; “Oh here you are.”

My reformed, doctrinally deformed and those friends in between might challenge me on this but… What is a Christian? One who trust in Christ alone… right? It’s Christ plus nothing that makes me one of the beloved… right? My doctrine doesn’t have to be right, it’s not Christ plus good doctrine that makes me His; and for the liberal reader, it’s not Christ plus my good works that makes me His. Could it be that this dear foster-mother with her crucifix hanging on the wall has found this secret, and her life of faith (more than I am ever likely to experience) proves out her trust in Christ alone… I don’t know.

How do I live/preach in such a way that all others see is Christ? How do I make Him preeminent? I love the quote from Jim Elliot that says: “Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a Mile-post on a single road; make me a fork, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” …Lord make me that man.

Pray for Alicia who has come down with an intestinal bug, as well as our agency director Robin. Right now we have no plans for tomorrow.



  1. tears, goose bumps, & prayers~ tell Alicia she is covered & healed in Jesus’ name! as well as Robin~ Bless you dear brother!

  2. Tim, are you intentinally trying to make me cry each and every time I read this dang thing????

  3. feel blessed to be able to read your blog. I feel that I would love to be that fork in the road instead of a milepost sign! Blessing to you and Alicia praying for grace and mercy…oh and healing for her then also for yall to stay healthy the rest of the time there!

  4. Sorry I got a little emotional in this post… hope it made sense.

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