Grime & Glory

I almost forgot that I even have a blog!

But, alas, here you are and here I am.   So, write I will.

Lately, I've been reflecting upon exactly what it means to be a follower of Christ.    I suppose it might look different in every life, but there are some realities that permeate all.   Following Christ is not simply slapping the word 'Christian' upon yourself and operating in the same realm you've always operated.   It is not a legalistic list of 'do nots' - it is a growing, breathing relationship with a God who lives.   

One of my friends put it well during our visit... she was speaking about a Brazilian pastor who reflected God's grace in such a way that it was clear to all that this man spent a tremendous amount of time with God.     Reflecting God's glory.    A life lived so close to God that others can clearly see God, even through our human errors.    That's really it, isn't it?

We each reflect God's glory in our own precious, personal way.    And yet, we must pursue and hunger to better, more accurately reflect Him.    Oh, how I long to reflect the Lord in such a consistent way!

We are back in Puerto Lempira.   Our apartment was safe, all of our 'things' were neatly locked away without interruption.     The rest of this blog is going to be cryptic because all of the details are private.   Hopefully, the point can be made without specifics. 

The day after our arrival, we received horrible news about something that had happened while we were gone.   This situation requires much of both Alex and me on so many levels;  requiring things that we do not possess - supernatural patience, wisdom and unconditional love that can come from only God's hand.   

Going back to what it looks like to be a Christ-follower...  what happens when someone who represents himself as a Christ-follower and leader has his sin exposed in a somewhat public manner.  What happens when that same person injures others with his sin?    What happens when we personally are impacted because we believed too much in 'the person'?     Tarnished glory?

Perhaps, in our naivete, we gave too much credit to this person.  Perhaps we focused too much on what we 'wanted to see' in this person.     This lesson is a hard one.    Messy.

Can God's glory shine through the dirt and grime of this human mess?

I think of David, after his sin.   I think of  the life of Chuck Colson - no matter how you view him, you cannot argue with the impact of the final chapters of his life.      

God's glory can shine through the messiest of us when we surrender to allowing God to pull back our pride and rely fully on His strength.   We have to do it His way, without our own agenda though.   Pride is an ugly thing and it always takes us down a mud-filled path.

I'm not trying to wrap this up in a neat little package.   But I am confident and I have personally seen... there is beauty that rises from ashes.  

Over the last few days, I've seen trust emerge, a greater understanding of God's love displayed and girls maturing along a difficult path. 

Alex and I have a greater conviction that, in spite of our misplaced trust and mistakes, God is still God.   We are still just Alex and Laura - operating in the earthly realm, trying desperately to follow what God has called us to and sometimes dropping the ball.

We pray for discernment.   We pray for grace on all fronts.   We pray that we will reflect the heart of Christ for sinners. 

Can we love without hypocrisy and reflect God's glory in this situation?    Or should I say, will we?


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