Am I a missionary?
Am I a mercenary?
Or am I a misfit?Hmmm. Let me explore.
There is no way to avoid the collision that is bound to happen in this line of work. My identity is not all wrapped up in what I do. I wouldn't call myself any of those three "M" terms. Those are actually terms that describe a function and doesn't answer a real "who are you?" question. They are better used to answer the "What do you do?" question.
Which brings me back to my internal confrontation. If you read the story behind the story, that was behind the story, then you should know what preceded the unseen crash. If you haven't read it ... then here is the condensed version.
|Amina with Nikki & Jeff of Morning Star Foundation|
THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY
|Exposure in the studios of NBS|
When we arrived home late that evening we discovered that a girl by the name of Amina had been on the streets of Jinja in vehicle, equipped with loud speakers, along with her parents. They were raising funds under the guise of needing approximately $10,000 for a surgery in India! The scam was exposed on live radio and TV the following morning. Amina and her parents showed up in the radio and TV studio to solicit more funds. To say that they were shocked to discover me in the studio as well would be a gross under statement.
Amina had the surgery the following morning and it was successful. Her mother was so ecstatic that she hugged all of us with uninhibited happiness without regard for the husband's sullenness. He, of course, was considering a future without his former "job." He was hoping to dodge the outcry and anger that so many people had toward him for his deception.
THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY THAT WAS BEHIND THE STORY
|Several days after Amina's surgery|
But that knowledge was severely challenged when a man who appeared to be working with me revealed that he was off on his own program and using deception to fill his deep pockets.
That was the secret emotion I experienced as anger toward Amina's father attempt to sabotage the commitment I have made to love people ... regardless? Was that the word that I had used? Yeah. Regardless.
I suspect that it is normal to love back when someone loves you. Love begets love. And that is not bad. But, love usually seems to carry conditions. And there often seems to be limits.
|Medical follow up on Amina's recovery in the village|
That change provided room for an explanation for Amina's father's bad behavior. I sensed the Lord telling me that Muhammad also had a heart problem. That each one of is born with heart problems. Not the physical kind of problems ... but the spiritual kind.
I made an appointment to travel to the village to do a follow up visit on Amina's condition. But, behind the appointment was a mission. I wanted to be transparent with Amina's parents, Muhammad an Aisha. I requested our driver park under a shade tree. I got out and began to share my thoughts with them. I told them that there was no difference between them and me ... until the Lord did heart surgery on me. I explained that I, and everyone, was born with a heart of stone, but that God took away my heart of stone and gave me a heart of flesh and put His Spirit within me.
|Sharing the heart problem issues with Muhammad|
There is still a lot of mystery to me about the nature of love. It is a bit staggering to realize that love can give you more than you ever imagined and yet allow you to give away more than you are aware you even had ... and still end up richer for it all in the end. The more you give ... the more you have to give away. The more love you keep for yourself the less you have. It seems to be a paradox in every relationship.
In addition to this mystery I've discovered that, just as Jesus loves much of mankind, I can love some people when the love is a completely one way street. There is a satisfying joy in having a one way love. I am not a mercenary or a misfit ... I've been sent to Uganda to love people.
And that is the story behind the story ... that was behind the story behind the story.