you will speak before kings and judges
March 31, 2015 § Leave a comment
but you will first begin by speaking at a pizzeria full of church people and happy drunk folks.
how the story would have unfolded had i prepared/actually read my notes:
hong kong, may 2010. i was in kowloon, walking along the enormous expansion of sky & water, carrying a monologue, asking this question to myself: what is life worth? what difference does one’s life make? it felt so easy to forget about the people and community i had built in the east bay, to be erased from & erase relationships, to live anonymously in a city half way across the globe where no one knows you. what lasting impact was i capable of having on the earth?
no answers then. all i remember is a vague sense of how lonely life can be, not because no one loves you, but because you can’t find the one to love. lonely because you don’t know the object of your all-consuming desire. the entire time that God was pouring his love into me, wastefully and extravagantly, he was moving me to ask the question of how i could ever relate to another being in the way he had related to me.
fast forward four years & seven months. here i was. kolkata region one. past 10pm or so. on our way back to lee memorial mission school in the back of an auto. kolkata was one giant hot mess of people urinating and yelling, cars honking and zigzaging through bumper to bumper traffic with every color and light and decibel and scent imaginable.
i was looking out onto the street. suddenly my heart leaped out of my chest. i was bawling.
hatty, what is life worth?
God spoke to me.
hatty, look at the people, my people. do you know i’ve spent my life on them?
i was on fire, every inch of me aching with what it must feel like to care infinitely across time about every single human being alive in that moment.
i love my people. they’re worthy of my furious & relentless love. they’re worth my life. aren’t they worth yours?
before i knew it, we were back at lee memorial. the professor xavier moment lifted. welcome to my first week in kolkata.
there is a realm that’s made of more than what i can see and hear with my physical eyes and ears right now. and that realm is so active and compelling and real that it breaks into the srs stuff even mattered: God is dying to express his love to people. that auto ride moment showed me that i was made for love, not only to receive but to go into the world that’s desperate for a glimpse of such reality.
i am hands and feet, a voice, a face, a vessel to pour out what’s been poured into me: whenever i change diapers of a dying woman, play silly games with orphans, pray in tongues in dark alleys, get chai with a family living on the streets, give a prophetic word to a japanese tourist, present the gospel via charade for our deaf & mute friends. that’s the answer to my earlier life question. that’s final piece that completes intimacy with God in ways i can’t find elsewhere.
God is hidden in his people. if you want to know him more, go love someone, and in doing that, encounter him. your life’s worth will not only be measured by who gave up & sacrificed for you. at the end of the day, you’ll be asked, for whom have you given up & sacrificed?