“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them,” Luke 6:32
Well our little church now had a decade of experience with medical missions. Perhaps this was the time to call it quits. At least it was for me. I mean really why do they need a preacher along for the ride? All I do is direct traffic, grind a few lenses for our eye doctors, pray before eating. The physicians, the surgeon, the eye doctors, the pharmacists, the nurses they are the hands and feet of our Savior. Let’s be honest I’m kind of the rear end of the Body of Christ in these situations.
Then an invitation comes to go to…Myanmar (Burma). Really? I thought those borders were closed to us? Western Christians have not been given too many opportunities for service in Myanmar in the last 200 years. No I didn’t want to go. In fact, you can’t make me go.
Then I learned the invitation was from Sayadaw Dr. Candavara Bhivamsa of the Theravada Buddhist Missionary University. They had heard of our mission work from a friend of one of our team members and the Sayadaw wanted us to come to the interior of Myanmar to bring hope and healing as a team. Buddhist and Christian together!
Nope can’t make me go. Only problem was I had just finished reading a poem by Thich Nhat Hanh a Buddhist monk, teacher and theologian that wrote the book Living Buddha, Living Christ. This is what I read, “I have been looking for you, World Honored one, Since I was a young child. With my first breath, I heard your call…For millions of lifetimes, I’ve longed to see you, but didn’t know where to look. Yet, I’ve always felt your presence with a mysterious certainty…
Looking into the mirror of the moon, suddenly I saw myself, and I saw you smiling, Blessed One.”
Wow! That sounded so familiar to a pilgrim that has walked with his Savior. Who has known from an early age that God was there pushing and encouraging. That our God is closer to us than our very own being. Maybe just maybe I should pause and see where God is leading. But really? Into the interior of Myanmar to work with Buddhist monks. No I probably should stay home way out of my league.
God you never cease to amaze me with your grace, your mercy and your spiritual surprises. I pray for your boldness to move forward to await the fulfillment of your promises. (Even when I sometimes don’t want anything to do with your miracles but know we have been called to “go”). Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.