Last Friday evening my wife and I went to a concert by New Zealand’s two best gospel singers, Derek Lind and Steve Apirana. Steve & Derek regularly tour NZ in support of Tear Fund, playing for donations in local churches. Their concerts are humorous and spontaneous, these guys are relaxed and genuine. They also have depth, there is no flashy lights or stage makeup, what you get is real faith accompanied by experience and wisdom. This particular concert has challenged me. It occurred at a time when God seems to really be on my case about reaching unreached people groups in hard places with the Gospel and love of Jesus. Then along comes the Christian singer who has been in my ears since 1989 and seriously reinforces that message! In fact God niggling at me about missions work is nothing new either, over 20 years on that one too! (I’m a slow learner). There has also been a lot of background work needing done before I would be fit to inflict upon the world. During the month of October I was praying and writing about the Shan people of Burma. For over a year now they have been on my heart and I would love to do more than praying only. Recently I was offered the possibility of going to Thailand to visit some of the work being done amongst the Shan people there and see first hand what I have been writing and praying about. What I am finding is that my perspective is changing. I am seeing things differently, myself, my life, my place in the world, the realities facing others don’t look the same. There is no undoing the knowledge I now have of how much suffering is happening in Burma. With that knowledge I am responsible (to paraphrase Brooke Fraser), I cannot just pretend it is not a problem.
Nothing Looks the Same
Fly the friendly skies, nothing looks the same. From this distance, nothing looks the same. Fly the friendly skies, and hang your head in shame. From this altitude, nothing looks the same. Was that a lightning bolt? Nothing looks the same. Was that a camera flash? Nothing looks the same. Is God taking photographs, for evidence for blame? From this distance, nothing looks the same. But under the spell of gravity, there is dissonance and danger. This voyeur gets to touch, and taste and small and see, This is not fiction, it’s fact, and it’s stranger. This is not a checkerboard, these are paddy fields and fishponds. This is not quaint, it stinks and it’s ugly. From this distance, nothing looks the same. From arm’s length, nothing looks the same. Even from 35 millimetres, nothing looks the same. Just remember this at the end of a long hard day, I get to fly away, you get to stay Nothing looks the same Nothing looks the same Nothing looks the same
Derek Lind — Nothing Looks the Same