Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Buddha, Allah, and the Waiting Father
One of our friends, meanwhile, received word last week that his daughter had gotten married. No wedding, no walking her down the aisle, no announcement, even. Just a phone call "to let you know". My friend (the Dad) is furious. He loves that girl, the guy is a great guy, he's happy for them both... but he wanted to be there. He fully expected to be there.
One of Wayne's students receives word every so often about the newest murder, the latest rape of the women and men of his ethnic group back in his country. Last month there was a beheading, recorded on someone's camera. The images are blurry, but the horror is sharp.
Back in Hong Kong, our immediate neighbors, the Zimmermans, have just received news that they are grandparents for the first time!!! We are beside ourselves with happiness for them... this little girl has been waited for, for a long time. A really long time.
The gospel for this coming Sunday includes these words:
"while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him."
Asia is a land of many religions, and at least here in Hong Kong, many of them seem to live pretty peaceably, side by side. And that is a great blessing. But as for me and my household, I'm glad we follow a spiritual path which features not a beautiful bronze Buddha with a serene look on his face... nor a stern Allah commanding unwavering obedience.... not a host of ancestors who expect, need, and demand offerings over & over again.... but a flesh and blood human being named Jesus, who knows exactly what it means to live in this world at its beautiful best and tragedy & atrocity-filled worst. It moves God to tears, this world of ours, and He's not just sitting somewhere up high, watching these things unfold.
I'm glad I follow a God who runs out to grab ahold of his long-lost kid, this brother of ours who, "...'was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.'" -- Luke 15:32b