“Because I care more about your holiness than about your friendship.”
Roughly five years ago to the month, I stood in the dingy kitchen of an apartment approximately five thousand miles from here and listened to a man I thought was my friend speak those words into my life. He is my friend – closer than a brother - but at that moment, I questioned it.
We’d been on the field for several months at that point and were coming to the end of the proverbial honeymoon phase. “End of the honeymoon” doesn’t quite capture the true flavor of the moment, though. It was more like watching a couple of flies kill themselves by repeatedly hurling their bodies against a window. No good can come of that, little friends - best just to move on.
We had certainly moved on, or so we had thought. Being there, five thousand miles away, certainly seemed like a good idea when we graduated college nearly a year ago – two buddies servin’ the Lord abroad, a couple of young hotrod Jim Elliot wannabes, laying it all on the line for Jesus. There’s a romantic notion to missionary work, or most any such service to Christ. There is this secret, seductive lure that somehow draws you in: it is the same thing young boys feel when they lie about their age to sign up for military service. It is both honorable and ignorant, for though they have played at war, they know not yet the deep horrors of real war.
So the “call” comes and if you’re listening, you pick up. You buy the field. You’re pretty sure in that field is a
Those jazzed-up conference speakers had forgotten to mention that to me.