I remembered laughing heartily at a skit during WEC’s orientation training on peacemaking. It was hilarious watching scenarios on how cross-cultural multinational teams faced conflicts, tried to overcome the conflicts in their own ways and made others even more angry! I had a hearty good laugh because the skit was good!
Weeks later when I arrived at my land of service, I was in the midst of conflicts. Workers are experiencing brokenness within and among themselves.
The peacemaking skit was no longer just a skit.
“Lord, help.” I hear my heart crying out.
“Be a peacemaker. Listen to their stories.” were words I felt I heard.
I honestly felt it was too hard to obey. I thought as a missionary, there must be more important things to do then to just sit and listen to His children. I was so wrong in my thinking. I started listening to our Father.
My bedroom became a space for me to be held by Father, sometimes in tears, at other times with Him quietly, listening. Parks became places of prayer walks.
Slowly, I felt His voice. They were clear, simple and powerful: “have a coffee with her, shop with this sister, cook porridge and eat with her, draw a particular image for this sister, go for the hill climbing together, wash one another’s feet (it was winter)”. I often see tears as responses towards God’s Fatherly love reaching in to a person’s heart. It was the same love for the local and multinational believers alike.
I have been so afraid that people might think I was doing nothing much. I flew here to sit and listen to people? Isn’t that too insignificant? Not in His mind! He trusted His daughter, and listening is not too small a work because it was His work for me there and then.
God’s quiet victories were seen:
- A sister felt like a porcupine towards everyone. God brought us closer. She opened up to two of us about her pain. It was one beginning of her healing.
- A sister needed space to talk and cry. I was tired. He gave me strength to listen and provided a sister to listen together. The Lord turned our hearts to Him.
- An older sister said “I am sorry” to me. I teared because as an older sister, she placed herself lower. I paused for a while, and responded, “I forgive you.” God protected our sisterhood.
The Lord stayed. He never left the brokenness of His people. I was drawn to Isaiah 55:10 “…giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater”. The Giver gives to both the sower and the eater. He placed His promised Seed, Jesus Christ to change the whole Story of humanity.
I felt the conflicts gave us a space to genuinely feel our emotions. In some of the stories, we may walk through the journey, together. Even though it was painful, I also needed to surrender to God that some conflicts at a certain time may still be unresolved, and some do choose to leave, and eventually not walk together.
The greatest conflict in this world between God and humanity is settled through love. God met this conflict by the death of His Son. He initiated His love. At the cross, the Lord’s wrath is totally satisfied by the deepest cry of Jesus Christ “It is finished!” And it cost God’s Son so much, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” He took it upon Himself of being forsaken at that point, to lead us home to our Father.
May we go into the world together, because of and for God.