The Mustangs 4 CHRIST are working this week with Bennie Nowell and his family Nikki, Max, Zoe, Pete. The Nowells are missionaries in Boulder, Co and their mission organization is called SEVENS. Monday was our first full day with Bennie and he first took us from the low altitude of Boulder (5430 ft above sea level) to Nederland (8228 ft) which Bennie reminded us is a foothill (no rock above the trees). We spent time overlooking Barker Meadow Reservoir, which was frozen and snow covered, and spending time with God in prayer and alone time. Bennie said that it was vital for us to slow down and unplug before trying to get a grasp of the world in which he works. It was awesome! Sitting on a rock by myself, it seemed as if God were closer here in the mountains than he is in the flat lands, there was a moment when I felt very unself-conscious and able to really just let the Holy Spirit settle me. It was a moment of clarity and serenity that I have had trouble engaging in about a year. The message from PAPA was like a pick-axe to a heart of rock intended to shatter the remains of bitterness and judgment and anger. It struck true...
After our time of prayer and reflection we shared lunch on the mountain and began our descent.
After a quick stop-off to change into dry footwear, we drove south to Denver. Bennie took us on a turf tour to give us a stark image of how people without fixed residences live. It was shattering as well. The place of greatest impact for me was when Bennie stopped on some stairs just below the highway and spoke of his friend Trent. There was a sorrow in that place that was palpable and tangible. It seemed as if God was again breaking something in me (more on that later)for another message. Following that we walked along a river walk and Bennie then took us a mile into a drainage tunnel. If you have ever been in a tourist cave, you have been in total darkness; yet you have not experiences anything like this. The cars driving over the man holes make it sound as if there is a tunnel dragon waiting to devour your soul. This tunnel is a place where people journey (on purpose) deep into darkness to escape into a reality of their own concocting. One such tunnel had FREEDOOM tagged on the wall. The darkness of the tunnel changed our breathing, how we walked, and what we heard. It was scary.
Bennie spoke of how we as Christians always boast that we need to take JESUS into the world; and how that is an arrogant statement. JESUS was in that tunnel when we got there! I have battled claustrophobia for most of my life and it never bothered me in this tunnel. I prayed as we walked and Jesus comforted me. As a Christian, I must change my thinking of ":taking JESUS to the world" and go out and meet HIM where HE already is. I must go out in HIS power and in HIS light and reflect on the world the love He is longing for them to feel.
So JESUS draw me! Draw me out of the stubbornness and stupidity, and pride of thinking that I can control how you are distributed. Break my pride, my personality, and my preconceived idea of what "church" is. Thank you for grace which floods over the earth and has swept me up. Carry me to where you need me. Amen?