Thursday, January 31, 2013

I Saw

Jesus Coming

NGM Praise & Worship Band
From a personal perspective I've seen love expressed differently in the two cultures in which I live.  It seems to me that though Westerners love to love in many ways, they often say it with food.  My mother in law loves me.  For the past 46 years she has most frequently expressed it by asking, "May I fix you something to eat?" Every year Pam and I return to Oregon after six months of service in Uganda we invite everyone to gather at our house for our Annual NGM BBQ to say, "We love you."

Money and food have been in short supply here in the Pearl of Africa.  Many have learned how to sleep hungry.  If it was there, food may have been the way to express love freely. But it wasn't.  However, music is in abundant supply.  Many, many kinds of music.  Music styles from other African nations and even distinct styles from districts within a single small nation.  We even have "Jinja music" that is characteristic of our city.

Baptizing JoAnn by pouring until we get to the River Nile
This morning I am recovering from participating in a two day youth conference title Youth With A Vision.  It was conceived, constructed, and conducted by Gina and Mary, two business ladies from the state of New York.  I participated by providing a band, speaking three times, and baptizing around 30.

I love kids ... the next generation ... and there were over 100 of them.  How do I say I love you?  With music!  I got the best live musicians I know of who can interact musically with youth.  And  ... I danced with them.  A solid hour of energetic dancing is my explanation for recovering from this youth conference.

The morning after the first day, on the way to pick up the band members, my driver Peter told me, "I saw Jesus coming."  His statement seemed a bit random to me as I replied, "Where?  When?"  He said, "Yesterday!"  When the band entered the van I told Raoul, the leader, "Hey!  You are a song writer.  I have a song title for you!  I don't know the melody or the lyrics, but I've got the title for you.  You have to do the rest."  They all laugh and Raoul asked, "What's  the title?"  I replied ...

I Saw Jesus Coming

Marvin washes Gina's feet
I recounted the exchange Peter and I had with the explanation that Peter had seen Jesus at the youth conference the day before after I preached.  My sermon was a simple message about how God had always desired a family for Himself and began his family with Adam and Eve.  They were very happy together until the enemy of God worked to separate the first two sons from the father and made them orphans.  And since then all humans born on this earth are born orphans. Even I was born an orphan, though my biological father and mother were there.  I shared how God, our Father, sent His Firstborn Son named Jesus, to make us sons and bring us back home.  I share that orphans can look as different as the younger and older brothers of Luke 15. And I invited over 100 abandoned orphans from two children's homes to let Jesus bring them home to the Perfect Father who will never leave them, who will heal their wounds, who will cleanse them, forgive them, and make them His sons according to John 1:12.  Many came and some with tears streaming down their cheeks.  And, Peter said, "I saw Jesus coming."

Within a few short minutes I was telling those in the van if we have eyes to see we can seen Jesus coming through out history.

I saw Jesus leaving the glories of Heaven to come to this earth as a baby in a manger.

I saw Jesus coming to a short, corrupted tax collector who He found in a tree so they could have lunch together.

I saw Jesus coming when as He sat with a soiled and rejected woman at a well in Samaria.

I saw Jesus coming when He spit in the dirt to mix mud and put it on the eyes of a blind man so that he could see.

I saw Jesus coming down the road to Calvary dragging His own cross so that many sons could come to the Father.

I saw Jesus coming to my cramped college dorm room in 1966 on Easter weekend to bring a 19 year old kid home to the Father.

I saw Jesus coming through Gina and Marry with His love for the lost, abandoned, neglected, and abused children of Uganda.

And, Tuesday I saw Jesus coming to many broken, abandoned, wounded orphans with the good news that they have an eternal family of which they can be a part.  And I saw Jesus coming through the thumbs of my granddaughter, Robyn, as she wiped the tears from the face of a girl about her age; and through her arms as she embraced her from the outside and Jesus embraced her from the inside.

Jesus has been coming over and over and over historically.  And, He is coming today to people all around the world.  He will come to millions more in the days to come.  In Him we live, and move and have our being.  And, the amazing thing to me is that God has chosen to dwell inside of His sons so that He Son Jesus can come to others.  Because this is the secret: Christ lives in you. (Colossians 1:27)

I woke up early this morning.  I had not intention of writing this blog.  It was a desperate and sad dream that woke me.  I dreamed about a young husband and father who lived with Pam and me years ago when he was single. He was abandoned by his father before his first birthday. When connected to his biological father occasionally throughout the years he usually left those encounters with serious wounds.  Over the past 7 years he has struggled with addictions in the presence of wounds from his father and the absence of a father's love ... wounding his own wife and children..  My detailed and vivid dream had him again facing that abandonment and the temptation to sedate, medicate, and relieve the pain.  I sat on the edge of my bed in the darkness and cried out, "Father, would you please send Jesus to do what no earthly father can do and what no effort of man can do?  My friend and brother needs Him."

I want to see Jesus coming one more time.


  1. Amen Thanks for encouraging us. More grace to you for the work

  2. Thanks Paul, it was worth the wait. I love that I can share the vision with you and Peter of watching for Jesus to come.

  3. Peter is so perceptive. When he speaks, I listen. He can see so many things I miss. I look foreward to seeing him, and you, Paul, in just a few days. 6 months is such a long time to be away. There has not been a day, since July, that my thoughts and prayers were not directed to Jinja. See you soon brother! DK


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