In the year 2000 in Indonesia I was having fun with my brother (surprisingly) when we somehow heard the news. I was eight years old when this happened. The Muslims were burning down Christian's houses because they wanted to revolt. My Mom said we had to go to Holiday inn. At first I wasn't afraid. I thought the riot would stop and everything would be okay. I was wrong.
"Wake up! Gather our belongings and meet in the hotel lobby!" Banging on the door aroused us from the beds we had just settled into. Frantically we followed orders and and joined our teammates and other guests to await our fate. There we received the news we had feared.
"How will I know this for certain?" Zechariah asked and God called his question unbelief. Mary asked "How will this be?" and God said she believed. So why was Zechariah’s question not acceptable and Mary’s was?
As a way to deal with the 2020 pandemic, I am remembering God's goodness and protection and telling of his works to the next generation. This is the first in a series on the Lombok riots of January 2000 — another time when life was upended, uncertain, and anxiety-ridden.
I am amazed by the parallels and applications to our current crisis in this encounter of Jesus with ten men who had leprosy. The "disease" of our world feels overwhelming. Many in unhappy circumstances have shared their stories lately. Like Jesus, I am moved pity.
My world seems upside down. I am sad and pierced. What do I do with this? First I stand still in sadness, lament and engage in life-giving activities. Then, lest I am tempted to get stuck here, I am challenged to persevere through my weariness. Next, I turn back to Psalm 77 for more instruction.
“I think I’m depressed,” I told my husband. “I have no motivation to do my work. I only want to do macrame all day. What’s wrong with me? Is it hormones, aging, or this pandemic?” Along with much of the world, I was, at that moment, weary and losing heart.
In my typical fashion, I dug in immediately, reading articles, finding new voices, listening to podcasts and posting to my social media. At the end of the week, my screen time was up 104%! I vacillated between wanting to throw up my hands in hopelessness (What can I do?) to jumping into premature action (What can I do?)