Thursday, August 17, 2017

Heavy Rain, Heavy Hearts

Yesterday the rain came down heavy.  No wind to speak of, no thunder or lightening, just a sudden downpour that continued for about an hour or so.  Once again it reminded me of our years in The Philippine Islands.  The monsoon season would bring the quiet heavy rain with humidity so thick it would make it harder to get a breath.  Then it would just stop, the sun would come out and the steam would rise off the ground.  I would like to tell you that we adjusted to that kind of weather, but we "northerners" did not.

We had the wooden Fischer Price puzzles that we brought with us, and they all split from the humidity.  Wood plaques and furniture warped.  Joel lost a lot of weight, I did not (surprise).  I did struggle with sinus headaches until we moved on base where we had air conditioning. did not quite keep the house dry and cool.  When the kids took their afternoon naps, I would lay them on one bed (our two oldest and the neighbor boy Kiko who lived with us more than his family) and blow the fan right on them so they could rest comfortably.  Our sheets always felt damp when you climbed into bed at night, and bugs had a good prolific life in that kind of weather.  I have had a deep appreciation and grateful heart for A/C ever since.

The memories of the Philippines and this weeks news had me thinking about the Burnhams.  When missionaries Gracia Burnham and her husband, Martin, were captured by terrorists they were in deep peril in the jungles of the P.I.   For over a year they lived among the Abu Sayyaf, fearing for their lives as they watched another captive beheaded, the single women used as sex slaves, and everyone sleeping on the ground with little to sustain them.  Eventually they were rescued by Filipino soldiers, but her husband was killed in the process.  She sustained a gunshot wound but was able to come home to her children.  She has spent her years since then writing and speaking about the ordeal and working for the Christian foundation she started in Martin's name.

Certainly we cannot compare the white supremacists and neo-Nazis to groups like the Abu Sayyaf.....or can we?  What has happened this past week in our country is hard to stomach.  We lived through the sixties and although it was pretty cushy up here in the north in our mostly "white world" we saw and heard about all the violence...and mourned the death of Kennedy, King Jr, and yet another Kennedy.  Civil rights were hard to come by.

Our family is a blend of Filipino, Korean, Spanish, Chinese, Northern Cheyenne, African American, Mexican,  Puerto Rican black, and whatever ancestry the "white" members bring to the table.  We experienced racism as a family, some of our children more so..........and still do. Here is the truth found in God's Word.  We cannot bring hate to the table and call ourselves Christians.  No way.  Hate for a country, for a religion for a skin color?  All of it goes against what our Savior brought into the world and preached and taught.  Don't kid yourself, Jesus does not condone hatred or prejudice of any kind.  His Heart is heavy today, as are ours.  We need to all look in the mirror and ask God to reveal to us what we need to cleanse from our own hearts.  Whether in the jungles of the Philippines or on the streets of our country, racism, hatred, and violence of any kind in word or deed has no place of acceptance.

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