Saturday, 29 September 2007

Reason's Gone...Damage Stays

An eerie screetch...laughter ceases...a scream...a crying child...headlights...horns....
Life in slow motion.

There lays a woman in a heap at the side of the road, her baby in the middle of the highway...a car speeds off.

I run...we run into traffic, traffic which continues to race by, slowing in the slightest.

Another cry of pain turns the stomach as we dart across the 3 laned highway.

The woman stirs, a dim hope.

The baby stirs as cars pass by him closely...prayers.

More cars, I slam their trucks as they pass...anger.

In Egypt crosswalks are non-exsistant, religion is law, and life just is not fair.

Crossing streets here is gambling with your life, car rarely slow, traffic swerves around those who drive with caution and lanes are non-exsistant.
A careful eye and some blissful ignorance allows forgieners to cross the congested streets and the occasional close call gives an added thrill.
Egyptians cross the street to get to the other side, simple.
They know the risks of taking your time, they've experianced the real danger of a misjudged step, this is their life and it's not a game.
44 people die for every 100,000 KM driven in Egypt, and when an estimate 80.5 Million people live in Egypt with roughly a third of them being drivers...statistics scare me.

The night is dark, there are few headlights.
She is dressed in a full veil, view restricted, black as the night...She takes that step.

Religion is law here,
It dictates everything from how time is spent to attire.

The black figure flies over the hood, and rolls off the windshield and comes to rest in a black rumbled heap.

A child, dressed in red, thrown into tired, hectic traffic.

A car speeds away...

Here lies a woman and a child, faced with the very real danger of death.

Still not a sound from the child, though he stirs.

We do what comes instictively...
Some run away, while others run to, or stand strong and pray.

I pluck the child from the road, while two other interns block traffic.
I hold the child close to my chest as tears well in our eyes,

Suddenly there comes a cry from his mouth, a realization that not all is well...shock has worn off as quickly as it set in.

I check him quickly from broken bones, torn skin or bruises...nothing.

Mircles happen every day, I have witnessed this.

*God is good!*

The crowd around the woman is large now, many yell in Arabic and hustle about...I don't understand.
Cell is on it's way.

I walk with the child in my arms down the center divider...away from the chaos, he doesn't need to see or hear this.

He trembles as I bounce him in my arms, I whisper.

I look up to the side of the street...a dozen Christians pray.

*God is merciful.*

Minutes go by...

A man comes and places his hand on my shoulder, his face is soft.
He says something in Arabic, and motions to the child.
Sometimes don't need a translation, I hand the child off to him with a quick whisper.

I move towards the woman, she lay moaning, trying to right herself, others kneel beside her.

I take up spot and stand directing traffic with the others,

The crowd grows, traffic grinds to a's time to go.

We move through the traffic towards our friends on the sidewalk,

Hugs, tears and encouragements...

We walk to some taxis, and drive away.

An ambulance races past us.

More prayers....

A driver now sits at home, his car parked on the street below his flat...damaged, a haunting reminder.

He sits up tonight, He doesn't know the outcome of the accident, he doesn't know that the child lived, he doesn't know that the woman never got up again under her own weight.
His life is changed...He didn't stop.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

The Ugly Puppet Show

The curtain opens and there you stand,
A puppet on strings, a ventriloquist doll or a beautifully creative artist?

One who goes about life holding on by a string,
One who speaks only what they are told to speak, without a second though,
Or one who crafts something which is both pleasing to the Creator and spectator?

As the dust settled I grew strings, strings which were used to both hold me down, and steer me away from what I saw as right.
As the dust has begun to clear, I have noticed the ugly hooks which remain in myself,
And while the strings have been severed, still remains the potential for something to grab hold of me from the outside.

Hooks, embedded deep within the flesh, ugly things which cause the affected to oouze discontentment, discouragement, fear and sin.
Slowly I have begun to work the hooks I have found outwards...out of my being.
To tear is to damage, wounds become infected.

*Praise be to You, Jehovah Raphah*

The thought of being controlled by something other than God, terrifies me to my core.
I am not a puppet, not even God uses us as one.

We are listen and discern.

*Praise be to You, Jehovah Shalom*

The depiction of man on strings is a scary but often real representation of life here...and all across the globe.

All the world is a stage...
A fanciful cliche, or a scary truth?

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

As The Dust Settles

Desert sand coats everything here.
If you let anything sit long enough, either inside or out, it collects a flim of girtty flith.
Even now as I write, I sit atop a dust caked chair on a belcony overlooking the suburb of Maadi.

I have been here in Egypt two weeks now...
I have since left jet-leg in the wake of a fast paced life style, full of language classes, meetings, tasks and homework.
However, despite the lack consitant intermissions, Egypt has begun to feel like home to me and when the opportunity to surface and rest presents itself, I have found myself in the sweet embrace of the couch and a pizza box.

God has been both the forefront and distant longing in my heart over the last couple months.

Since arriving home from Africa in July, I retreated from myself.
I told the story of my travels but never really processed it, and I went from a "Spiritual high" into a cement wall.
I still was around God but never came before Him, never really focused on Him...
Dust settled.

The thing about dust is, unless it's on a hard, flat surface, it doesn't come out easily.
It collects in groves and poors and it piles up...

God didn't make us hard, nor did He make us flat.
It says that God shaped us and He continues to mold us.

We are incrediably detailed, carefully constructed beings and it's because we are so detailed, that it's so difficult to get all the dust out when it gathers.

My prayer life began to suffer, my want for more for decreased and God felt distant.

I know He never was, nor will He ever be, but I felt cut off, choaked in dust.
I was too embarrassed and too stubborn to ask for help.

And so I was off to Egypt...on a plane this first time more alone then ever.

I continued to struggle,
At prayer meetings I felt as though I was talking to God through a wall,
Alone I found it hard to come before God, I felt ashamed.

God is Good...All the time.

It was at church this weekend that some of the dust came off,

The amazing thing is we don't have to let dust settle, God doesn't want us to let it settle because when it does, it masks how beautiful we are and makes it impossible to continue to grow.

All the time...God is Good

Grace, Peace and Blessings,

Sunday, 2 September 2007

A Comfortable Discomfort

It's funny how...
No matter how far away you are from home, no matter how different the place you're in, or no matter what surrounds you, you still have the choice whether or not to engage or stay at arms length.

I'm in Egypt,
It's dirty, it's hot and it's dusty.
The language is problematic, the culture is forgein and call to prayer brings everything to a stop.
It's different here, but it's beautiful all the same.

I love it here in Egypt, it's stretching, it's not always easy but it's nessesary.

This internship I have chosen to take part in subjects us to the harsh reality that is a broken world.
We are given the opportunity to engage a part of life, a part of this world which brings us beyond our comfort zone, and in some cases shocks us to our core.

It shakes us to our moral core, and brings in to questions what really is right and what is wrong and what is "wrong" because we just don't want to face it.

It seems a lot of time to face something, to question some things, allows God to present us with an opportunity to change.

Am I being blunt, or criptic?

One persons negatives are anothers way of life.

Who am I to ask for a change which better suits me and my western ideals?

I have been presented with a beautiful home here in Egypt. Thanks to the beautiful family I am staying with and the items from home which I have brought, I could chose to be very comfort and trust me, there will be days in which I will chose to.
To stretch too far is to break but to make a habit of it is to ignore God and His calling on our lives.

Grace, Peace and Blessings,