Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Are You a Rebel?

Thank you to everyone who responded to my email for prayer for the fighting & unrest on our island. As you can see in this update, around 140 of the hostages were rescued yesterday after a week of being held by the rebel group. The government army has retaken control of many parts of Zamboanga. However around 80,000 people have been displaced from the fighting. We also had 2 small bombs go off in the malls here in Davao where I live, on Monday.

I hate when fear overtakes conversations and becomes the focus of everyday life. 

There is no room in love for fear. 
Well-formed LOVE banishes fear. 
Since fear is crippling, a fearful life 
—fear of death, fear of judgment 
is one not yet fully formed in love.
1 John 4:18 (MSG) 

I've been thinking about the rebels who are fueling these conflicts. I imagine them as PEOPLE who have concerns, worries, & hard choices to make, just like the rest of us. People who may have had some really hard luck in life. People trying to define themselves in something, someway, some name. People wanting recognition, community, & success. People trying to make a living & put some rice on the table. People going along with the pressures of friends & family. People maybe trying to live out their convictions & beliefs. People who have hurt other people in the pursuit of all these things.

When my eyes go back over that list, I find that I'm not so different. I've secretly & openly desired recognition & success. I've fought hard for community to happen. I've had some things happen in my life that just seemed like pure hard luck. I still struggle with trying to define myself & my actions in some way that will seem "right." I've allowed myself to be pressured by others to do things I wasn't really sure I agreed with. I am continually trying to live out my beliefs in ACTION. And there is no doubt that I have unknowingly AND knowingly hurt, stomped-on, & tried to overshadow others, in the pursuit of all these things. 

Who am I to even approach judgement of them? Past being "rebels", past being people who shoot at others, past being Muslims...

....they are just like ME. 

And it's kind of a funny thing - when you see someone broken, searching, & confused, just like you can be, doesn't it make you want to LOVE them? And when you understand people, where they're maybe coming from, why their life heart is beating the way it is, how can you be AFRAID of them? 

Love & fear just don't mix, in my opinion.

So friends, let's pray, love, & care about both the hostages and the rebels holding them, the Christians & the Muslims, the men carrying guns & the the men carrying hurt victims, and the people displaced without homes on both sides of the conflict.

And let's dissipate fear by replacing it with knowledge of THE love that can fill it.

1 comment:

  1. Sarah, you are very wise for your age! We all have times in our past of which we are ashamed, praise God for sending his son to save us from ourselves! Your words are mine too. I will add them to my prayer list.