Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Gospel Truth-Beautiful Feet

I just finished reading Evidence Not Seen, a book chronicling the experiences Darlene Diebler Rose and her first husband had while serving on various islands in the Pacific prior to and during World War II. She and her husband were taken as POW's when the Japanese began invading all the small island countries in the Pacific. She was held for three years and liberated when the Allies won the war. Her husband and many of her missionary friends died while in captivity. The book was an excellent reminder of the way many people live life and live their faith in the middle of truly awful circumstances.

But to the point...beautiful feet...

Darlene and her husband were anticipating working as missionaries in Papau New Guinea. Up until 1937, the "civilized" world considered this island nation mainly uninhabited. But in 1937, a pilot discovered hundreds of thousands of people living in the mountains. Darlene and her husband desired to go and share God with these people. Because of the remoteness of the location, the first trips made by their sponsoring organization were made only by men. They trekked through jungles and over mountains, through swamps and down rivers.

When Darlene's husband returned from his first trip to visit the mountain tribespeople, he returned 60 pounds lighter and with no skin on the instep of his foot nor on the balls of his feet or his toes. Darlene was advised by a doctor on how to care for her husband's feet including how to drain the infection out and how to redress the wounds. A fellow missionary penned this words as he watched Darlene care for her husband's raw feet. "This morning I looked at the bleeding feet of a missionary, saw his wife tending to them, saw the blood and pus running from them and thought to myself, "What a nauseating sight that is! But as I walked from the room, the Lord said to me "Oh but to me they are beautiful feet!" Then I remembered "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bring good news"...good news to men and women like those in New Guinea who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death."

What a powerful reminder of how precious God believes His message of forgiviness and redemption to be. Our own mess ups, mistakes, and short comings separate us from God and unless we make known our desire for God to fix those things, we remain separated from God. We remain lost, like a lost set of keys that are useless unless they are placed in the hands of the person who created them or owns them, the person who knows what they are made to unlock. God wants no one to go through that lostness so He passionately implores with the hearts of men to change, to cast off the "I'm just fine" attitude and to come into a relationship with Him. His passion is so great that He finds beauty in ruining temporary things like feet in order to secure eternal things like souls.

This passion should run like blood through the veins of every person who claims a relationship with Jesus. Every Christian should have the attitude of "Come Hell or high water, I am going to do what I can to share Jesus with the people I come across." Too often, we don't. But that doesn't dilute the potency of the message. God's a life boat, a life jacket, a life guard, a light house. He's your rope when you're over the cliff. He's the water to quench the fire, the bandage for the gaping wound, the strong arm of the law when you're threatened. It's life or death. My prayer is that you would feel the urgency pumping through your body and let it settle in your heart and mind. Decide what you will do with beautiful feet and God's good news.

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