It’s been a busy couple of weeks. Besides trying to keep up with my Romanian lessons, we’ve been spending at least a few hours each week on the streets sharing the gospel. And add to this the work I started at the English school–trying to learn where the students are at, what they know already, and what they’ll need to know– and you’ll understand when I say I’ve been busy.
Throw in getting sick (imagine the flu + diarrhea; the first night, the word “implode” suddenly made sense to me), and it’s been, well, trying.
When I get busy or sick or stressed, my attention tends to turn from the Kingdom of Heaven to the earth, but God never leaves me long in that place. He is always faithful to remind me of Heaven in the midst of whatever earthly troubles I’m dealing with.
Today is the first day I’ve felt nearly 100% healthy in a week. I think of heaven every time I think of eating; my stomach isn’t churning for the first time in seven days, and I actually want to eat something. I think of heaven when I realize my back doesn’t ache, my head is clear, and I can have the windows open without shivering. I think of heaven when I hear the washing machine cleaning all of last week’s “sick clothes.” Oh, it feels good to be healthy again!
I remembered heaven on Thursday when we met with a number of students in the park. It was not an easy day for evangelism. I wasn’t feeling well, and didn’t really want to be there. Besides, most people just didn’t seem to want to speak with us. And then we ran into a group of three with whom we spoke for nearly an hour. Giulia, Ioana, and Vlad were certainly not at first open, but the more we simply sat and talked with them, the more we came to realize they were more hurt by religion than by Jesus. In fact, they hardly knew anything about Jesus or what he stood for, though all three introduced themselves as Orthodox Christians. Before leaving, I challenged Ioana, the most vocal of the group, “You need to read the Bible. I think you’ll like what you find there. I think it’ll surprise you.” I hope she does read it, but she never promised anything.
I remembered heaven yesterday when I came across a video by Mumford & Sons playing “Amazing Grace” at a concert. Now, most of the crowd hasn’t got a clue about the power of the song; most likely they’re too drunk to care or simply too busy staring at the bikinis. And some of the guys on the stage seem seriously demonized…. So throw out the irreverence. I just know heaven’s gonna be a party like this, with a whole multitude standing around the throne worshiping and praising Jesus with all sorts of instruments and dances and voices. The joy is gonna be infectious, even if you don’t like loud music or clapping (or banjos), you’ll be drawn in. So, yeah, this little video reminded me of heaven, and I hope you’ll like it, too. (P.S. Check out the woman at 4:15. Are those tears? Maybe she was reminded of heaven, too.)