Beck Wattier

These Tears

Mar
18

“These Tears”

With my head in my palms

Heart poured out to You
A single tear makes it way down this cheek
As it falls toward the ground
I see within it somehow
And am impressed with the things it contains

Thoughts and feelings, people, places
Everything my head cannot contain
Processing, sorting, dwelling and seeking
Releasing it all here in this place
This place, where words are faulty to explain all the things kept inside
Where feelings of both joy and pain are destined to collide
There’s this question welling up but fear of the answer holds it back:

Do you see me?

Am I known?

Through these tears You begin to paint a portrait, and I know
This whole life is but a tear in the palm of Your hand

And yet You keep it

These tears are cherished

You see me, and I am known
Not like facts and figures or knowledge that can be gathered
But we are one
This mystery

Through Your death I’m hidden in You
And even more- Your Spirit is in me

When my heart beats fast You feel it,

When my cheeks hurt from smiling, You’re there
And when these tears, they fall, You catch them
You warm my heart and stir my affection
You lift my gaze and call my attention
“Behold- I make all things new.”

“You once were blind but now you see
Once we were enemies, now you long after me
Once you were empty, now you are filled
Once dead in your sin, now you are healed
And though this life still holds much pain
I’ll take these tears just like the rain
Showered down into the soil
Worked and tilled with lots of toil
Till one day a stroke of green appears

Life will come forth, beauty is near”

The Shepherds Have Fed Themselves

Mar
07
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Isobel Miller Kuhn, (December 17, 1901 – March 20, 1957), was a Canadian Christian missionary to the Lisu people of Yunnan Province, China, and northern Thailand. She served with the China Inland Mission, along with her husband, John, as a Bible translator, church planter, Bible teacher, evangelist and authored nine books about her experiences. In her book Nests Above The Abyss (1954), she wrote of a certain Lisu tribe of thousands of people:

“Some of them heard this wonderful doctrine was being preached out in Chinaland, and a little party made the trip of two or three days journey to that missionary lady and asked her to come to tell them also. That was ten years ago. Ever since then, that lady (now over sixty years of age) has been trying to find someone to go to those Lisu, and up to this date no missionary has ever been resident among them.

Ten years they have waited. Do you think that when they called for gospel messengers, God did not respond? It could not be. He gave His Son that all might know and receive eternal life. I think that man did not respond. It costs something to leave loved ones and the comforts of civilization. I believe that in each generation God has ‘called’ enough men and women to evangelize all the unreached tribes of the earth. Why do I believe that? Because everywhere I go, I constantly meet with men and women who say to me, ‘When I was young I wanted to be a missionary, but I got married instead.’ Or, ‘My parents dissuaded me,’ or some such thing. No, it is not God who does not call. It is man who does not respond!”

My sheep have become a prey, and my sheep have become food for all the wild beasts,….because my shepherds have not searched for my sheep, but the shepherds have fed themselves, and have not fed my sheep.” ~Ezekiel 34:8

The restless millions wait the light,
Whose coming maketh all things new.
Christ also waits, but men are slow and late.
Have we done what we could? Have I? Have you?
~Gordon

And Then They Sang A Hymn

Mar
06

The following is taken from Amy Carmichael’s book, Things as They Are: Mission Work in Southern India. It is easy to see why it caused such an uproar in the western Christian world. For many in the early 1900s, missions was considered a distasteful necessity requiring careful discussion. Amy broke this delicate mold. A lot of her writings are about her struggles with the tension of doing actual mission work and convincing people back home to support her and get involved. Here she mentions ‘tom toms.’ When someone died, these drums beat all night. On one evening, the drums of death awakened her to the specter of millions perishing without Jesus:

“The tom-toms thumped straight on all night, and the darkness shuddered round me like a living, feeling thing. I could not go to sleep, so I lay awake and looked; and I saw, as it seemed, this:

That I stood on a grassy sward, and at my feet a precipice broke sheer down into infinite space. I looked, but saw no bottom; only cloud shapes, black and furiously coiled, and great shadow-shrouded hollows, and unfathomable depths. Back I drew, dizzy at the depth.

Then I saw forms of people moving single file along the grass. They were making for the edge. There was a woman with a baby in her arms and another little child holding on to her dress. She was on the very verge. Then I saw that she was blind. She lifted her foot for the next step…it trod air. She was over, and the children with her. Oh, the cry as they went over!

Then I saw more streams of people flowing from all quarters. All were blind, stone blind; all made straight for the precipice edge. There were shrieks, as they suddenly knew themselves falling, and a tossing up of helpless arms, catching, clutching at empty air.

Then I wondered, with a wonder that was simply agony, why no one stopped them at the edge. I could not. I was glued to the ground, and I could only call; though I strained and tried, only a whisper would come.

Then I saw that along the edge there were great sentries set at intervals. But the intervals were too great; there were wide, unguarded gaps between. And over these gaps the people fell in their blindness, quite unwarned; and the green grass seemed blood-red to me, and the gulf yawned like the mouth of hell.

Then I saw, like a little picture of peace, a group of people under some trees with their backs turned toward the gulf. They were making daisy chains. Sometimes when a piercing shriek cut the quiet air and reached them, it disturbed them, and they thought it a rather vulgar noise. And if one of their number started up and wanted to go and do something to help, then all the others would pull that one down. ‘Why should you get so excited about it? You must wait for a definite call to go! You haven’t finished your daisy chain yet. It would be really selfish,’ they said, ‘to leave us to finish the work alone.’

There was another group. It was made up of people whose great desire was to get more sentries out; but they found that very few wanted to go, and sometimes there were no sentries set for miles and miles of the edge.

Once a girl stood alone in her place, waving the people back but her mother and other relations called and reminded her that her furlough was due; she must not break the rules. And being tired and needing a change, she had to go and rest for a while; but no one was sent to guard her gap, and over and over the people fell, like a waterfall of souls.

Once a child caught at a tuft of grass that grew at the very brink of the gulf; it clung convulsively, and it called- but nobody seemed to hear. Then the roots of the grass gave way, and with a cry the child went over, its two little hands still holding tight to the torn-off bunch of grass. And the girl who longed to be back in her gap thought she heard the little one cry, and she sprang up and wanted to go; at which they reproved her, reminding her that no one is necessary anywhere; the gap would be well taken care of, they knew. And then they sang a hymn.

Then through the hymn came another sound like the pain of a million broken hearts wrung out in one full drop, or sob. And a horror of great darkness was upon me, for I knew what it was- the Cry of their Blood.

Then thundered a voice, the voice of the Lord. And He said ‘What hast thou done, the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.’

The tom-toms still beat heavily, the darkness still shuddered about me; I heard the yells of the devil-dancers and weird, wild shrieks of the devil-possessed just outside the gate.

But why does it have me upset? What does it matter after all? It has gone on for years; it will go on for years. Why make such a fuss about it?”

The Voiceless

Mar
01

Two days ago, people all over the world ‘blacked out’ for the day in an effort to promote the #EndItMovement, a movement started by the Passion Conference team to raise awareness and push for an end to human sex trafficking and modern day slavery. I’ve seen a lot of criticism about how effective this move was, and I’ll be honest, I was a little skeptical myself. However, after looking into it more I found a couple cool (almost subtle) aims that I think the movement was hoping for. One was realizing that there are people who’s voices are ‘blacked out’ and we are privileged to have the ability to use ours. As one girl put on twitter, “ I have freedom, I have a blessed life, I have a voice. And I plan to use all three to help.” By committing to refrain from social networking of any kind (especially in our society) you are in effect cutting out your voice. You are voluntarily restraining yourself. Millions around the world face this everyday, obviously not in the form of a social media fast. But millions are faced with another day in which their voices will not be heard.

Everyone has a voice, but some of us are blessed to be in a place and position to where ours are heard. With our technological resources, and our (somewhat) free society, we have methods and opportunities to speak and be heard. This is a privilege and a blessing, but because all of us have experienced this since the day we were born, this is something we take for granted everyday. Scroll through your news feed and you’ll find many instances of this: ‘Pancakes for breakfast’, ‘Stuck in traffic’. But it goes further than the need to check what we are posting on social media (we could harp on that for a long time).

Our voice goes beyond our audible words, beyond our digital words. Our voice is what our life proclaims. Again, we are incredibly privileged to get to decide about this. Many people will never get a second to even consider investing themselves in something-they’re simply trying to survive. For many of us, our ‘voice’, our life, proclaims that we think we’re pretty awesome. Everything we do, every decision we make is in some way geared towards our happiness. We eat where we want, we buy what we want, we endure some things like medical procedures, or education, or a job we don’t really like- but it’s all in order for us to have a better, happier future. We date who we want, we marry who we want- but often times it’s because they make us feel good or will take care of us or will in some way contribute to our happiness. We even go to church (often times) because it is helpful to us- makes our lives easier, provides social activity, takes away our guilt, etc. We pick our church based on what programs they have to offer, what facilities are closest to us, what service times are most convenient…you get my point.

 

The bible speaks about speaking out for those that can’t speak for themselves. I thought about using that verse-the same one a thousand other people have quoted when discussing this same issue. I thought about writing and emphasizing how we should be standing up and speaking out on behalf of those whose voice is being silenced- and we should, don’t get me wrong. But you’ve read that before. You’ve seen those posts, you’ve heard that plea. It’s easy to use words to make you feel certain things. I can string some things together here and give you goose bumps and have your heart burning for a few hours, that’s what I’m good at. But where’s the real change, the lasting impact?

 

I’ve been wrestling with all of this. And in the midst of it all, all I know to do is point you to Christ. When we see Jesus for who he really is, everything changes. Everything. I can tell you that in my own life I tried to do the Christian thing for a long time because it was what my family did, what my friends did, what I was supposed to do. And then I saw Jesus for who he really is. Now there are days where I wish I could slow down and take it easy but the passion in my heart wont let me. Because everything has changed for me.

 

So while we’re talking about using our voice and speaking up for the ones who are silenced, let me paint this picture. A world full of humans, born into sin, and doomed to be forever separated from their creator. A people in need of their God, but unable to get there because God is Holy and sin and holiness can’t hang out together. A people needing to cry out to be saved, but whose voice had been silenced because of the effects of their sin. Then we have Jesus. The only one with a voice that could be heard by the Father, the only one that was not bound by the choking chains of sin, the only one that could choose to use his voice. In such stark contrast to every one of us, his voice, his life, proclaimed something greater than himself. He poured out his life, and ultimately gave up his life, on behalf of something greater. His life didn’t say ‘I think I’m pretty cool’ but ‘There is more to be living for, something greater is coming.’ The bible tells us that to this day, he is standing before the father, petitioning on our behalf. He is still speaking out on behalf of those who can’t speak out for themselves. ‘No man comes to the Father except through me.’ He is speaking up for you.

 

When we see Christ for who he is, it changes us. He is speaking up for me! How can I continue to live for myself? How can I spend each day seeking my own pleasures and my own desires. His example of using his voice, of pouring out his life for something greater, is incredibly inspiring and causes me to want to do the same. Should we speak up for the hungry, the thirsty, the enslaved? YES. But why? Because Christ speaks up for us- the spiritual hungry, thirsty, and enslaved. Why do we help these people? Because it’s a picture of what Christ has done and is doing for us. He fought for our freedom, he offered himself-the bread of life, the living water, on our behalf. So when we ‘speak out’ on behalf of those who have no voice, that’s great, but if we stop there we will miss it. Our voices should be used for the voiceless, but above that they should be used to proclaim the One who uses His voice for us.

I want you to see that, to remember these words: He is speaking up for you. How are you using your voice?