Thursday, March 22, 2007

God is Big Enough--Wesley E-letter

Dear Friends,

Hey there! Hope you all survived Spring Break and that you have returned
rested and re-created, ready to take on the challenges of the last few weeks
of school. It sure was quiet around here with everyone gone. Tonight at
Solid Rock Café we'll hear how the group did on their trip to Mississippi to
do hurricane relief. I've heard that they stayed in a house with no walls!
Way to rough it for the Lord, guys (and Kelly too). Feel free to bring your
own Spring Break stories to share. We will also watch "A Night with the
King" and consider the message of how God works in our circumstances to give
our lives purpose. Can you see God's purpose for you unfolding in your
present circumstances?

Also want to give a big shout out to Smiley and the Hot Minute. The
pre-Spring Break concert was awesome. It was so refreshing to hear good
music, dance, sing, laugh, eat gourmet burgers and dogs (yes I am the
grill-master), and be with some really cool people. By the way, the warm
fuzzy hackey sack competition sparked added its own flavor to the evening.
All in all, everyone had a chance to unwind before heading out of town in an
atmosphere of old-fashioned, good, clean silliness. I love you guys! We'll
do it again before the semester is over. Be sure and check out the pictures
(complements of Lauren Davis, she takes the best pictures) on Facebook!

Now for Sami's Ramblings About Jesus:

I wrote this e-letter once before on Monday, before it was eaten by the
internet boogie monster. One mistake click of the keys and all of my heart
that I had poured out on paper (I mean screen) was gone forever. I told Tim
(my wonderful husband with the very nice legs) that it felt like giving
blood and then watching someone pour it out all over the floor. However, I
have had time to continue to think about what I wanted to write even more,
and maybe that's a good thing.

You see, the week before Spring Break I attended the Angela Shelton lecture
on campus. It is one of the events dedicated to raising awareness of sexual
abuse, rape, and violence in our society, as well as trying to help us know
how to prevent, stop, and heal such atrocities. For the last two weeks I
have really been seeking the Lord, trying to find a way to connect God's
healing grace to this kind of trauma. But at the same time I fell into the
trap of focusing too much on what is wrong, beginning to believe that
somehow what is wrong with the world is bigger than Who is right. I
certainly understand more than ever that our lives are the spiritual
battleground where evil tries in subtle and sometimes brutal ways to remove
our human dignity and sacred worth. Hearing and seeing the ravages of those
who have suffered from such abuse breaks my heart; it makes me angry; it
makes me ask questions that are hard to answer. However, in my wrestlings
over this issue I come back to the fundamental belief that healed my own
brokenness and continues to keep me whole each day: God's love heals
anything; God's love heals everything.

I had a profound insight about the power of God's love in all my wrestling.
The pastor at the church I attend said in an Advent message that God is
constantly joining us where we are. While we keep trying to leave our
present space and time to get to heaven, God keeps bringing heaven to us.
Thus the significance of the Christmas manger. Jesus enters into the human
experience by being born in absolute vulnerability and poverty. And yet in
the current liturgical season, Lent, I find a parallel message at work as
well. We try to avoid suffering, ignore suffering, and ultimately pretend
it isn't there. Yet here is Jesus walking right into the middle human
suffering, shame, and misery by trudging to the cross. We shut our eyes to
the pain of our sisters and brothers; Jesus opens Himself to pain in a very
intimate and personal way. And then overcomes it.

I honestly don't know why bad things happen. But in the core of who I am I
believe God's redemption touches every part of our human existence. God
restores every thing the Devil tries to steal, kill, and destroy. What
Satan demolishes, Jesus resurrects. He brings glory out of our ashes. All
we have to do is give our ashes to Him. He can make something beautiful out
of them every time.

No matter who I talk to, no matter what their struggle is, no matter what my
own struggles are, basically the biggest challenge we are all trying to
prevail in is believing our own worth. Each of us has it; it is our
birthright. And no matter who we are, we have an enemy who tries to deceive
us into believing we have lost it or never had it. And the only One who is
able to restore it, restore our belief in it is God. Only God is big enough
to remove the obstacles that stand in the way of our receiving it. Dear
friend (I'm imagining all your faces as I write this), know that you are a
person of sacred worth. God created you in love and deliberate, creative
attention. You are His masterpiece. Your life can never be messed up
beyond His ability to restore your beauty. You are loved. You are
infinitely loved.

Blessings and peace,


Sami Wilson

Campus Minister/Director

WKU Wesley Foundation

United Methodist Campus Ministry


No comments: