Camp, Candles & Engineering Students
Dear God, I thought, don't let me make a complete fool of myself. I got up. I spoke. It was fine. No one was moved to tears by my presentation, but God is the one who moves people anyway. I did my part, He will do his. Besides, it is 40 degrees & I am fairly certain all of the students are in a mild coma.
We were sitting outside in a replica of a squatter camp. Engineers With A Mission put on an event at Baylor University called Camp [In]Justice. From 7pm-midnight students were gathered to listen to speakers talk about social justice issues, pray and worship together. My friend Blair & I were invited to come and speak on human trafficking.
It was a brilliant event. The final hour of the night was spent worshiping together. Around 11pm it was bitterly cold. Not bitter for Toronto or say, Helsinki, but for Texas. At this point only about 15 students remained. What happened next, was something I had not expected.
We lit candles and gathered close to worship. The presence of God met us. The ultimate Rescuer - Jesus himself was with us. To my right & left were my comrades. I will always remember these people. I won't remember their names, or all the details of their features. I won't remember which ones sounded angelic and which ones sang off tune. I will not recall the specific words spoken, or the songs we sang.
I WILL remember that people gathered. We gathered on behalf of those living in squatter camps, those living with AIDS, and the orphans who sit alone in the night. We gathered to remember that no matter what culture says, each person has eternal value. We sang songs that have been sung for generations- hymns whose truths have carried people through historic difficulty. The light that shone from our flickering candles was a cluster of light in a dark night. Praying prayers for the 27 million slaves who live in a kind of darkness I can not imagine.
I am not going to see those people again - those people I stood with on that cold & dark night. However, I know they are there. They exist just like the believers from previous generations existed. An army, a people, who spread far before and far after me. It is a powerful thing to stand with people. Shoulder to shoulder, advancing and partnering.
I can so easily feel self-absorbed in my endeavors. I can forget that there are millions of unseen faces toiling to make a difference. I am one small part of the Church who remembers that the greatest of these is love.