gail song bantum

blog on identity, leadership, discipleship

Archive for the month “January, 2010”

be still and know

in the wake of what seems to be at this point an utter devastation of an already impoverished nation, i find myself restless and always checking fb and the various news feeds that are streaming in. though i know that the little i have donated to relief efforts makes a difference, i feel helpless.

i find myself praying constantly yet know that so many have already died and will continue to die. i pray for those who are worried about loved ones that were visiting or temporarily located in haiti, that they would soon hear a word of hope at the other end of the line yet know that so many natives of the land have lost generations of their entire family. it is a restlessness that is rooted in the realities of this world – pain, suffering and death that we all endure as human beings. it is also a restlessness in the realization of knowing that though i am not haitian nor do i have close relationships to anyone that has been impacted, i feel the common bond of what it means to be human – to hope in something, the need to love and be loved, to be overcome with compassion for those who suffer, and to help those who are in need. but i realize that this restlessness must be tempered with a stillness of faith in a god that sees and hears the cries of the people. it is a restlessness that cries out in desperation on behalf of those who are suffering and a stillness in knowing that god is present in their midst.

we are called to be witnesses of this god to those who are in need, called to be the feet, the hands, the words of hope. to those who are tirelessly giving of their lives for others in haiti and elsewhere, may you have strength in your well-doing and may god continue to sustain and undergird you and make fruitful the works of your labor. grateful.

if you are looking for a place to donate financially with the relief efforts, OneDay’sWages is supporting an already ongoing org called world concern who have offices and personnel already in haiti. 100% of all donations will go toward these efforts.

more than anything, please continually be in prayer. do not lose heart but let your restlessness stir an even greater desire to desperately seek after god on behalf of others.

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the burning bush -a life of being and pursuing

the burning bush

by artist He Qi

so often in our lives when we face difficult situations or trials, we look and seek after signs of some sort -signs that tell us that someone knows us, signs that someone hears our cry and actually cares. we wait for that definitive voice from on high or a strike of lightening, etc…. kind of like an “in-your-face-can’t-deny-the-truth” moment. a burning bush moment.

in the old testament, in exodus 3, we are given a story of a man named moses and a mysterious burning bush through which god speaks and makes god’s self known to him. it is a bush that is raging with fire but never consumed, it is alluring to the one who comes upon it yet is too great to take full on, it offers words of hope but a hope that is marked with a call to action. a bush that, upon it’s presence, acknowledges that the battles we face are not ours alone but that god is and will continue to be with us.

though we say and we know that christ has come and has sent the spirit of god to each of us, to dwell within us, we find ourselves still looking around for that bush. waiting for a sign, looking and hoping in things external when god in god’s love has come to dwell within us through the holy spirit. the same spirit that ignited a bush is the same spirit that abides in us. in this way,  i like to think that our lives are like flaming bushes, which burn but are not consumed. the very god that is in us purges the death on our branches in order that we may bring forth new life. as we are continually made new, we manifest and speak forth a light and a hope to those who encounter us. and in such lives of givenness, we are not found depleted but renewed.

the burning bush is a call to faith, a call to hear and a call to action. believe that god actually hears your cry as he heard the cries of the israelites in captivity. silence the clammering noises of fear and uncertainty and rather choose to hear the voice of hope and love as god is continually speaking to us and through us. know that a life of faith is never a life of comfort or a stagnant reality but a call to put feet to that which we claim as just and right, feet to that which we believe love is. faith is active and always in pursuit of the other. it is in our pursuit of the other that god promises to be with us as he was with moses and the people of israel. god does not call us to something just to abandon us later but calls us in order that god’s faithfulness may be witnessed more fully.

friends, i pray that we do not remain satisfied in our own well-being but the flame of the holy spirit would forever ignite a passion and a fervant desire for those around us.

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