Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Bloom in Barbados

My goodness. These people are dazzling. As is often the case, they don’t know it.

And that’s often where the pain is.

I’m not kidding—these Bajan (pronounced “Bay-jen”) Christians openly love God. In some ways, they’re like high school aged kids in love; they grin and laugh and tear-up at the mention of their Pursuer’s grace and affection for them. When we talk about Jesus around them, it’s like we’ve taken a peek at their journaled love affair—they get all happy and dreamy and maybe a little embarrassed.

But the Conspirator of this world (the Evil One) has long been sending them the message that they’re disqualified from anything of real value. Yes, God has made His love plain to them and they’re clearly enamored enough to be willing to do anything with Him. For a little while. But past experiences or educational fumblings or unresolved difficulties and tensions add up to scandalous headlines in their own minds that render them bystanders in God’s plan for glory. And pretty soon they begin to believe that someone else, someone who really has it all together, with education and upbringing and neat and tidy relationships should take the lead or help build the church. “We need an expert,” they might think, “and that sure isn’t any of us. I wonder when God will send to us the super Christians we need. Let’s begin praying for them now. Once they get here, then we can really get going. . .”

Have you ever heard something like that? That’s the kind of stuff the accuser of the church throws at these Bajan believers.

But God.

Somehow the mixture of love and sloppiness and belief and failure and hope and doubt has produced a church that is the envy of many—at least it should be. We should be studying them! They are at times so fragile that I think they can’t stand it—“I want to be strong!”—but we marvel at how God keeps them convinced that they’re right on course, right in the center of His will. They’re absolutely convinced that they need Him, and—shock—they openly act like it. Wonder.

Anyway, this fragile and delicate bloom in Barbados has me fascinated and in a little bit of awe.

They’re beautiful.

Here are a few pics from the last couple of days. (Click on the image to see it in a larger format.)

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