I love technology.
I use it to stay connected, to be organized, to be inspired, to be encouraged, to share beauty.
This past Sunday was no exception as I used it to witness God’s love at work through his people all over the world via pictures on Instagram.
I had also used it to have a skype meeting with my Live Dead Advocacy group* in MN, which included a skype call with two girls currently spending a year in Cairo, Egypt. They’re part of Live Dead, an organization focused on planting churches to unreached people groups. I got off the call with a renewed sense of passion, vision, and excitement for the work God is doing.
Little did we all know what kind of horrifying events this week would bring.
A few years back I had the opportunity to visit Egypt as part of a Mediterranean cruise (this was before “cruise” spelled terror in the hearts of all travelers).
It was an incredible day; the pyramids were a sight to behold, the Nile a tangible piece of history and riding a camel is just a silly experience all should enjoy if given the chance. And the food? Delicious.
However, I wasn’t prepared for it. The extremes of poverty and wealth were apparent (think the little kids with dusty little bodies in shredded clothes from slum dog millionaire, but the Egyptian edition.) Not to mention the fact that our tour guide had to act as chaperone and bodyguard. Also, the dowry system is still in place in Egypt and, not knowing he was just our tour guide, men had asked him how many camels for me and the girlfriend I was traveling with. Let me tell you – this girl is not to be exchanged for any amount of camels and I never thought that would have to be explained, but it did and so it was.
Even more bittersweet was the call to prayer we heard throughout the day, as Muslims are audibly called to mandatory prayer 5 times a day from speakers set in tall towers called minarets built all over the city. It may sound beautiful and the faithfulness and discipline of many is something to be admired, but the reality is that the call is a representation of the bridge that has been removed in religion: the relationship and grace we receive through Jesus Christ.
Last year I went back to Africa, this time it was for a service trip in Morocco. I’ve received flack in the past about going on aid trips like this because some view the end goal of such trips as making people into something they’re not by giving them rules and regulations we see fit to follow for a “good” life.
The end goal is not a “good” life and our aid doesn’t come with stipulations.
The purpose is to spread love; be the fragrance of Christ. We meet physical needs and our hope is to be a part of their journey in becoming followers of Christ.
Because remember that missing bridge? No religion or set of rules can make me clean or save my soul. Only the love of Christ extended to each of us. It’s the scandal of grace; that He died in my place so my soul may live.
Every single life matters to Him. Yours, that person sitting next to you in traffic this morning – oh, and that person you really can’t stand. And that Egyptian wondering where is the hope? His, too. Every. single. one.
So, take the events of this week as a reminder to pray for opportunities to spread love in your own community and for those spreading it worldwide.
Have a great weekend!
* To find out more about Live Dead or advocacy groups, feel free to ask me or check out the Live Dead website
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.