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Background Planting

How Tearfund's Ambassador training challenged me - in a good way!

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“I was reminded and challenged to again consider what it means to live in the ‘now but not yet’. To walk beside my brothers and sisters in Christ..and uncover what it looks like for us to live out our calling of loving God, loving others and stewarding His creation.” - Bee Harding.

I often wonder about things. And, wonder at things. Days are frequently punctuated with moments of furrowed brow and distant stares; along with many, many exclamations over the outrageous amounts of detail and beauty that surround me as open my eyes each new day. I’m all for the detail (‘Glory’ is what I fondly refer to it as).

But. That paragraph is not completely accurate. And this reflection wouldn’t be authentic if I didn’t elaborate just a little more. For sure, a good percentage of my wondering mind and eye for detail evokes a joyful “Far out! That/this/you is/are so cool!” response. And I’m thankful for eyes that see and a mind that thinks. But sometimes, only sometimes, I’m not. Sometimes, seeing things that others might miss or thinking about things that some might quickly forget after they shut the screen and turn off the lights, well, it can be a bit of a burden. What to do with all the brokenness and hurt and injustice that we see and create and participate in? I wonder about that too.

As with all things that require solid answers, the best – the only – thing for it, is to seek those answers out. Blinders don’t help; I’ve learnt that the hard way. But my little chunk of life has also taught me to remember, remember, remember. Remember that what I place my hope in is unchanging. And sovereign. And just. And that the love that my Father has, not just for me, but for all people, is shown in the life and sacrificial death and glorious resurrection of my brother Jesus. That is what has the final word; that is the soil that my life is planted in. And, not only that, I am a little plant in a beautiful garden of many other amazing plants that are lovingly tended to – in the watering, but also in the pruning and ploughing. Together, we are the fragrance of Christ in the world. Phew. And yay!

The beautiful tree that is Tearfund has been faithfully spreading that sweet aroma of Jesus in a broken and hurting world for many years. So, when I heard about their Ambassador Training, it was time to visit the nursery! The glorious array of plants (people!) that I met and shared the day with was such a blessing and encouragement to my heart.

Canberra ambassador training
Bee (fourth from right) at Tearfund's Ambassador training in Canberra

Through the Ambassador Training I was reminded and challenged to again consider what it means to live in the ‘now but not yet’. To walk beside my brothers and sisters in Christ; and through this journey, uncover what it looks like for us, His children, to live out our calling of loving God, loving others and stewarding His creation. I was reminded that to do this, we must enter into the broken, unjust and hurting places of the world, in whatever way God calls us to, and show a different way – the Way of grace, justice, mercy and love. The Way of Jesus.

Blinders will never do.

And so it is that we keep growing. Even when all the earth seems to be ploughed and hacked. Even when what we see is troubling and difficult to understand. We live from the hope that we have; covered in the dust of Jesus.

Thank you Tearfund for faithfully seeking God and pointing people to Jesus. Thank you. For reminding us of the love the Father has for His children. For selflessly serving and mirroring what Jesus love looks like. For reminding us to keep our own hearts and eyes and minds and hands open to ways we can live out that love in our lives every day; to bring the sweet aroma of Christ to a world that so desperately needs it. But mostly, thank you God for Jesus. And thank you Jesus for becoming what we are, so that we could become who you are. Thank you for your resurrected body that is our hope.

And so we live and love. Deeply. And from the heart. Seeking after love, and the needs of others, so the Good News goes out. And it never returns void.

Isaiah 55

Hosea 10: 12

1 Peter 1: 17-24

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