Thursday, May 12, 2011

The motel that lies in the shadow of death

Yesterday's journey of following Christ took me somewhere I didn't expect.  I expected to meet some new folks, teach on John 3, and answer some questions with hopes of sharing the love of Christ with them.  I imagined they would share surface level type needs that the body of Christ could meet together like clothing or food, maybe a little help paying for their room once in a while.

What happened couldn't have been further from the picture in my mind.  I came face to face with death.  Not that my life was in danger, but death as in the utter helplessness and all consuming power of sin.  I've read books and articles, seen news stories about life in poverty.  It was like some distant, faraway land.  Last night it became very real to me.

Prostitution, crack cocaine, drunkenness, homosexuality, and theft are just some of the sins I discovered lurking in this dark place.  And that, from just one man!  ONE MAN!  It was all so surreal last night and today it is beginning to sink in.  The amount of suffering that has come upon him is nearly too unbearable to look upon, let alone be under the weight of it all.  I felt completely helpless as he and I took turns talking, I would read scripture and tell him of the hope in Christ, he would cry and share small bits of what was on his heart, take another drink, and tell me to read or talk some more.

This job is way too big for me.  Witnessing the slow, painful destruction of one man has brought me to my knees.  In some ways I can feel his pain and I cannot bear it.  Intercession is in order.

In all this, Christ's incarnation has taken on a whole new dimension.  He left his throne in heaven and came down to earth to save us from the devastating effects of our sin.  The sin of the whole world.  That is unfathomable to me at this point.  Unspeakable amounts of suffering from the world over.  Yet he endured the cross, despising the shame, for the joy that was set before him.

Joy set before me, that would be really good right now because the valley of the shadow of death revealed much more to me than I bargained for.


  1. Your sorrow is your call to prayer. You are invading the territory of darkness and extending the boundaries of the Promised Land, that is Christ. May you be filled with the power of the Spirit of Christ and may He shine through you upon this man. My prayers are with you.

  2. This is such a hard load to bear. It may be wise to take another Man of God with you. The Bible says "Where two or more are gathered in my name, there will I be also." I am reminded of the story of Moses against Amalek. In order to defeat Amalek, Moses had to raise his arms up to God. When this battle was too much for him, Aaron and Hur stepped in and held his arms up for him. Perhaps, you are needing your own Aaron and Hur to hold up your arms as you face this oh so heavy burden. We are called to share Christ, but not necessarily alone. :) Praying for you as you obediently follow the call!

  3. Peter,

    I hear "be strong and courageous". Thank you for the encouragement and most of all for your prayers.


    I invited a couple others to join me for this first trip and it didn't work out. The Lord had other plans but I am intending in every way possible to have two or more go in next time. Thank you for your prayers as well.

  4. We have such a God of compassion, don't we? To those who really desire to love as He loves, He gives opportunities to experience His compassion for the brokenhearted, the lost sheep He gave His life for. Thanks for this glimpse.

  5. Lisa,

    God is good beyond words. It is an ongoing experience worth sharing. Please keep Julio in your prayers.


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