Slush sticks to my boots and I slip on the icy sidewalk.
My nose is so, so cold.
I wiggle my fingers experimentally inside the mittens: where did the warmth go?
I’m walking along a highway, and there are so many noisy cars. Reciting loudly, I repeat the words of Mark; While He was still speaking, they came from the house of the synagogue official, saying, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the Teacher anymore?” But Jesus, overhearing what was being spoken, said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid any longer, only believe.”
Already this morning I have beaten out on the sidewalk the thrilling scene of the Gerasene demoniac and preached the heart-warming recounting of a healed woman to the cold gray telephone wires.
This, however, is mine.
Your daughter has died; why trouble the Teacher anymore?
Why do we take this dirge so often?
I think of a land more than an ocean away. That Congo-land, it will be dry. The hanging palm fronds will rest limp in the humidity; the roads will seethe red dust at every footfall, dust that rising tempetuously around each bicycle wheel. Children will lie sick and feverish. There will be long nights of wailing by still bodies. Some will die so very, very young. Dry season will come as it has every year.
A snowflake falls cold on my cheek.
Heart of Africa, heart of darkness – that is what they call Congo. I read Congo in the news, and I read death.
Who says this to God? Congo is dying. Congo is dead. Congo has problems no-one can fix. Look at how they’ve messed up with Kony and the LRA. If the whole world can’t get rid of a group of rebels that number in the hundreds, what can be done about AIDS, rape, starving people, broken families, traumatised hearts, hate that hides deep and corruption??
Too many have said it. Too many have thought it. Too many times Congo has been made synonomous with death. Too many times God’s people have not interceded.
After all, why trouble the Teacher anymore?
It’s a cold world. It’s a dry world. A dying world.
Jesus says, do not be afraid, only BELIEVE.
We serve a God who rose from the grave. We speak life to people who are walking graves.
I clap my cold hands together, and I speak loud on the street. God, I believe. I believe that You will bring life to Congo!
I keep speaking and keep walking and keep clapping, and I’m not so cold.
Snow will melt, green grass will grow.
Rain will come, grace to soften the cracked earth.
Jesus will come, bringing life, life, LIFE!
Come quickly, Lord Jesus!