Shared Stains

December 30th, 2008

Focus Text: Philippians  1: 4-5  (NLT)

4 Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, 5 for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. 

 

Stop Here and Reflect Before Reading Ahead

Tonight, I detour from the regular Daily Thread format of our journey through Proverbs to reflect upon the incredible events of our adventurous expedition to Cochabamba, Bolivia.  As I write this, it is almost 11:00 pm and I am watching some guys play a violent match of ping pong.  Yes, ping pong can be violent . . . trust me.  In the other room, students are playing cards and watching movies.  All in all, the whole group is having the time of our lives and the best part is that we’re together.

Last night, Pastor Andrew and I tag-teamed a sermon from this passage; and yes, we did have an interpreter. Standing in front of about two-hundred church attendees in a foreign nation really brought perspective to our place within the global kingdom that God has called us to serve.  They don’t speak English and we most certainly lack the ability to adequately speak Spanish, but the message about Jesus’ love always finds universal acclaim. Much like that which makes this trip so wonderful, what makes the Kingdom of God so fulfilling is that we’re united together with other believers in all parts of the world.

As this scripture states, “for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now.”  Partners are important . . . just ask our team of students who spent their entire work day staining doors in the children’s home here at the Bolivian Hope Center.  The staining process isn’t like painting; stain must be applied with a brush and then wiped off with a cloth.  If the stain is left on too long without being wiped off evenly, the doors will turn black.  The process only works when partners tackle the task together . . . Tony.  (Sorry, I really love alliteration.)

The problem with partners is the vulnerability.  When we rely on others, we set ourselves up for disappointment . . . or even worse, betrayal.  If a door looks bad, no one person can be blamed . . . the team rises and falls together. Because of this, many people ride solo in the important tasks of life for fear that someone will let them down.

The flip side is, the crucial aspects of life cannot be accomplished alone . . . partnership is the key.

As we sat tonight reflecting upon our day of work, I couldn’t help but notice the dark marks from the stain that were left on the forearms (or in some cases, legs, ankles, and faces) of many of our students.  In any other group, these marks would seem odd and out of place; but here, those stains are evidence of not only the work that was done, but also the fact that it was done together as partners.  Sometimes the stains of life that may seem to be out of place are actually reminders of the common ground we share with those who work beside us.  

Who knows what other adventures lie ahead of us as the week progresses.  One thing is certain, though, we will experience them together.  Who knows what other stains we will share?

 


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~ by johndriver on December 30, 2008.

One Response to “Shared Stains”

  1. I like this. It is very true. Team work is very important. I think that it is cool because we know that Jesus had teamwork. The whole time he was on the earth, his disciples were with him. They witnessed to others together. They prayed together. They ate together. The body of Christ is strengthened when we gain more people who are following God. That’s awesome.

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