Genesis 15:12-14 (New International Version)
12 As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him. 13 Then the LORD said to him, "Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years. 14 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions.
I pondered this prophesy, given to Abraham, and fulfilled hundreds of years later, when the people of Israel were enslaved in Egypt. It brought home to me that there is a bigger story and we are all part of it.
Writers learn that a really good story--one that rings true and captivates our interest--has twists and turns, ups and downs; conflict and tension and moments of high drama.
When I understand my life as part of a bigger story, suddenly a lot of my perceptions shift. Once I grasp this, my importance diminishes in my own eyes. I am part of something bigger than my little life.
And here's the paradox: while my own concerns grow smaller in importance--my significance is heightened as part of that Bigger Story. We each have an irreplacable role to play in the story; but it's not all about us.
I am reminded in a powerful way that it is not my right to expect wealth, health or a life of comfort and ease. If I should land on this planet at a time or place where I experience the luxury of ample food, clothing and shelter, it is good to remember that it might have been different; and for many others it is.
What I have then, should not be considered mine to keep for myself, but as a man who happens upon a store of food in a land of famine--it is to be shared. And this is what I thought of when I thought of Haiti and the desperation there. I cannot allow myself to detach from it; to think of it only as "news." It is news allright, but news of hungry flesh, broken bones and unthinkable loss and tragedy.
As Susan wrote yesterday, the organization we work for had people in Haiti, working with a small orphanage. We haven't heard their status but we have people ready to go and help and there is an opportunity to give through our website http://www.christian-horizons.org/ . Only knowing that we are part of a bigger story can make sense of 400 years of slavery. Only knowing that we are part of a bigger story can make sense of what is happening in Haiti.
Colossians 3:1-3 (New Living Translation
1 Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. 3 For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.
Philippians 3:20-21 (New Living Translation)
20 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. 21 He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.