thoughts on reconciliation
We hosted so that Congolese who are scattered throughout the U.S. could come together as a group to cry out to God for their country, which has pretty much been in a state of chaos--its citizens in danger for their lives from political instability, starvation, civil war, and a myriad of other things. Women and girls have beena abducted and raped (read about it. here and here).
It was an exhausting and in many many ways frustrating several weeks leading up to the conference, and working during it was also not really a picnic. I was too busy to go into the meetings during the conference, but I hope that the fellowship and reunion of countrymen(even though many of the participants had never met)was sweet, and that the Lord heard their united cries for healing and justice.
My quesion about reconciliation is this: I had to twist my own arm to get myself going when it came to this conference. I didn't want to be there, really, and I had a bad attitude.
In spite of this, I was really disappointed and somewhat surprised that more people from our church didn't come for some of the prayer meetings. But like I said, if I hadn't been sort of forced to be involved, I probably would not have been there either.
So why is it so SO hard to love those who are culturally different from us? Why can I love my best friends' kids to pieces but not care in a real way what might be happening to children in the Congo at this very moment...not perfect strangers, but people connected to me through my own church body? Why is it such a battle to put myself in others' shoes? This weekend, I had to repeatedly think: "If I had to flee the U.S. and hunker down in some foreign land--knowing that my relatives and friends were still suffering, my kids not having enough to eat, my friends daughters being brutally raped--that would be awful beyond reckoning."
Lord, open our eyes. We have so much to learn about what it means to be a family, and about what it means to love the way He loves. We need more of Him. That's all there is to it.