Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Papa Jorge

A few years ago I wrote about a word that a man gave to me. When he told me that he thought God was showing him something about me, my naturally skeptical self was a little doubtful but as he shared, he spoke words that were right out of my heart's desire and prayers. I have always loved children. I often can be seen talking to them and paying attention to them and ignoring the adults in the room. The word he had was simple. He told me that he felt I was Papa Jorge and that showing the love of the Father to children was a primary calling in my life. I received that word with joy. It really did speak to me.

It has now been three years and several seasons of work in Guatemala  later. After working with many teams and with the school children, that word still rings true for me today. I see kids without fathers or with absentee fathers, I hear stories of abuse and neglect and I want to step in and help each of them. I want each child I come in contact with to know that they have a Heavenly Father that loves them regardless of their earthly fathers role in their lives. Spending time with the kids, being their jungle gym and climbing wall brings me energy and life. I want to do this forever. I pray that my strength and stamina hold up for many years so I do not have to stop. I think the kids feel the same way. I cannot walk through the schools without hearing my name being called out repeatedly. When the kids are free, they are looking for attention. I think that it is a mutually beneficial relationship I have with them. Best of all, I know that they are having the opportunity to see themselves as people with value, worth and dignity. They see me and others going out of their way to make time for them and just show them love.

Today in my Bible reading, part of my reading was John 13. In this, Jesus washes the disciples feet and shows Himself to be a servant to men that were about to abandon Him, deny Him and betray Him. Jesus did not serve them because they deserved it or because they made it easy. He did not do it to make them feel good. He did it because He knew the Father and wanted them to know Him also. The Father's love was at the center of all Jesus did. He concludes the chapter by telling us to love each other the same way and by doing so, the world would know that we are His disciples.

Reading this reminded me of the earlier word. It is not just children that need to see the Father's love. He was also working tirelessly to show it to these grown men that had just spent over 3 years with Him. His intimate connection to the Father affected everything about Jesus and controlled His interactions with the people in His life. He loved others as the Father had loved Him. He gave of Himself freely. He served people even when they were unlovable. Jesus lived in love to make the glory of the Father known.

A week and a half ago I got to go out in Membrillal and share the Gospel with people on the streets. Some of the team was doing a teacher training for the school but 3 of us had little to do so we decided to go out and share Jesus with people and pray for them. For the first half hour I was the best Spanish speaker available. It was incredible to share Jesus with these people. It was great to hear the man who told us that he loved to tell  people about Jesus, that Jesus was in his heart and mind, in his mouth and ears. that Jesus was in his eyes. Jesus affected everything about how He interacted with people and you could see it on his face as he talked. Sadly, we met another man that said he knew Jesus but could not come to Church because he drank. He did not know of the transforming love of Jesus that draws us in and then changes us. We invited him on Sunday and shared the Gospel with him but I think he still believes he needs to get his act together to come.

As I have been thinking about my experiences and these words, I realize my role is bigger than I imagined. The world needs a Papa Jorge, at least the part of it that I live in. Broken, hurting people are not just kids. People of all ages need to see the love of the Father demonstrated through our lives. Jesus is calling us to a deeper intimacy with Him and a greater sensitivity to the Holy Spirit so that we can effectively show the love of the Father. He has called me to be Papa Jorge to all I come in contact with. He is calling me to become more familiar with His love so that it overflows out of me to others. This is not just for me but for all followers of Jesus. The world is a scary place. Our job is to step into it and reassure people that it is going to be okay. Papa is here. We are just a stand in but since Jesus is in us, we can do a pretty good job and the real Papa, Father God can be seen and restore His children to the lives He created them for.

I often need to remind myself of who God is calling me to be and also of how I can effectively do that. I have changed the name of this blog as a reminder. It is now Papa Jorge. I hope that as I see it I am reminded to remain close to the Father so that His love can be seen in me. I also hope that as you see it, you will pray fro me to see an know the love of Heavenly Father more today than I did yesterday. Thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings and I pray yu are touched by something that you read also.