Remember that time I was too ill to read my bible? To even listen to it being read to me? When I was too ill to mutter a prayer, to even think one? That time where all I could manage was to whisper “Jesus” while my body attacked itself and I lay semi-conscious?
Maybe you don’t. I do. (Actually I only remember parts of it, it turns out there are huge parts that I just have no recollection of.) It turns out many of you visited me during that time. Every now and then someone will say something to me, and I’ll smile and nod wondering to myself when on earth that happened, because I don’t remember it at all. Or suddenly something will trigger a memory, a memory that seems as though it could be just a dream, but I find out it is in fact reality. Thank you for each of you who visited. I know it meant the world to me, even if I subsequently have no memory of it. My heart is still blessed and grateful knowing the care and love you showed. Anyway, that’s not what this is about.
For months I didn’t read scripture, I didn’t pray, I didn’t attend church, I didn’t do any of the things you’re told to do. Those things the Sunday school teacher drummed into you as a kid, the things you hear from the pulpit. Read your bible, pray daily, come to church weekly, get to a small group. No I did none of those things. All I did was whisper the name of Jesus.
You know what? God didn’t leave. He didn’t walk out on me. He didn’t give up. He didn’t go and find someone more interesting, more dedicated, more vocal, more involved. He stayed right where he was, if anything, if possible, he moved a little closer. He heard me repeat that one name over and over for months “Jesus” and nothing more. I must have sounded like a broken record, and yet he leaned in close, delighting in that one word, anticipating the moment a second would be added. Leaning in close, but without any pressure.
I didn’t do any of the things we’re told we must do. Yet God remained. Why? Because it’s not about prayer, or scripture, or church attendance. It’s about God. It’s about love. It’s about our relationship, and if all you can manage is one word, that’s ok. Let that one word be your worship and your devotion.
Wow! Can you believe it? It’s day 31! Yes, we are a day late… but still we made it! Together, we made it, I’m overwhelmed that we’re finally here. It will be strange to not write each day, it will be strange to write on other topics again.I hope you will stick with me though, I have loved interacting with you all so much.
We’ve looked at education, poverty levels, work days, culture, prejudices, war, development, and many other things. It’s been important to shout out the good stories, it’s been lovely to write out the honest stories, it’s been an honor to introduce you to different people, and it’s been humbling to know you praying for those individuals and for the country. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
I sit here today and I pray that you will not forget. That you will remember the good happening in Afghanistan and you will praise God for it, that you will remember how Afghans are people like you and I who just want to live life and you will pray for peace for forgiveness and for healing, that you will remember individuals and you will pray for their situations, that you will remember, when you hear negativity on the news, that the picture is much bigger than that. I pray you will remember that Afghanistan is so much bigger, so much deeper, so much more varied, so much more beautiful than the headlines would have you believe.
Then there is one more thing, because I pray you will not forget, that you will continue to pray and remember these people, I have some exciting news for you. There are still so many untold stories, so many of the stories I’ve shared are unfinished, there are new stories being heard and created day after day; and so for you my friends, I will be blogging on Afghanistan every Wednesday! I will continue to share their stories, I will continue to give you a view of everyday life there. Keep coming back, keep reading, keep sharing with others, keep seeing the real picture.
Thanks for showing up here day after day… I think I might take a day or two off now, to try and remember how to write on other topics!
This is part of the 31 Days series.
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