Everything will change. A Ministry of WorldVenture.
Last Thursday I had the eagerness of naivety to volunteer to help my friend clear the rice field of the overgrown weeds. Little inside me gave thought to the work, and to me it was just another opportunity to spend time with Benjamin the best way I knew how. What needed to be done was cutting down all the grass and bramble that grew up since last season and throwing it into piles to burn. Beneath the grass the field resembles a large earthen washboard with about a foot deep of standing water in between the furrows. Below is a photo I took the week earlier of what we were starting with.
Although the lovely device called a weed-wacker made it into our conversation, I was privileged to relearn the lost art of swinging a machete all day long. Well, not all day: we only worked until lunch, but I was more that content to let the machete fall from my permanently curled fingers. There is something alluring to me about solidarity, but I payed for it.
While working, Benjamin brought up Genesis 3:17-19:
"Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return."
Yeah..., in our many strives for progress we have succeeded in hiding this from our thoughts. It is because our progress that I was free to have fun after school instead of helping in the family fields; to attend college instead of being tied by responsibility to help at home; and to come to Africa, so it would be difficult to condemn western civilization for this, but we have lost an understanding of sin. The whole world is fallen and is in the process of being redeemed, but we rather not think about the implications of that and just push our grocery carts through the gleaming isles.
So, I am undeserving blessed to have been afforded both the opportunities of growing up how I did, and to be reminded of the reality of a fallen world and the hope for not just hiding the suffering, but living in a new heaven and earth.