“A compass represents not only that we’re going somewhere but that we know where we’re going,” Abigail, one of the DTS staff said during the first day of this week. She was explaining the compasses that were glued onto notebooks we received at the beginning of the school. “Jesus is true North” another said. As long as we’re following him, we’ll be alright. We might feel lost or discombobulated, but He is true North. He is what we’re seeking, because He is good. Gods character is good and his heart is kind. Aleck Cartwright spoke on Character and Nature of God, however, he admitted himself that he felt a little lost about what exactly to say. The thing is though, he was lost in pursuit of Jesus. “First we’re going to get lost together,” he told us. “Then we’ll get found.”
A topic in the first day of conversation was the concept of loss. Aleck told us he was lost on what the Lord wanted to teach us through him in this week of lecture. He told us that sometimes we can be lost and not even recognise it. Loss comes in many forms. We examined the certainty that God chooses to feel the loss that comes with being a dad to children who are born and raised and living out their days in this broken and imperfect world. The human condition is being lost. “God exists in this place between the lost and the found.” he said on Monday in class. God has a heart for the lost, the broken. What I got from class on Monday were precious reminders. Fathers are important.
Another big focus in class this week was the well known parable of the Prodigal Son, which is also known as the Parable of the Lost Son. In other translations it is titled the parable of the Lovesick Father. He is so love sick, so anxious to have us back in his arms if we’ve strayed away.The idea of a Lovesick Father ties in nicely with the father heart of God. In that story two brothers make very different decisions with their fathers money. One stays at home and works for his father while the other leaves. He leaves and parties and drinks and sleeps and gambles his money away. And then he is lost. He is alone, broke and hungry. So one day he humbles himself and returns home, seeking food and a place to lay his head. As he gets within eyesight of his home, his Father rejoices. He drops what he was doing, and before it even has time to hit the ground he is running down the driveway, down the street, to meet his son. His beloved son has returned home. He wasted his inheritance, yes. He made bad choices, yes. He was disrespectful, disobedient, irresponsible. Yes. Yet. Yet, he is loved. His father had a heart for the broken, the lost. And so he is welcomed home. He is worthy. He is accepted and forgiven and redeemed and he is celebrated. I think sometimes we forget that many times we are that son. We are sinners. We are human. But we forget that we are loved. That it it our Father who has a heart for the broken and the lost. We so easily forget that we are welcomed home. We forget that we are accepted and forgiven for our sins. We forget that we are redeemed. We forget that we are celebrated.
Speaking of celebration, there was a lot of that going on this week because…we have our outreach locations!! Everyone is very excited. We will be sending a team of trainees and staff to Uganda, Cambodia, and the Next Wave (whose plans are tentative) but is headed somewhere near Greece. The black arrows in the photo below indicate outreach locations. There were smiles all around and excitement levels are high. We are blessed to be a blessing.
This week was a very unorthodox in the aspect of lecture. But speaking for myself and a number of others, there was a huge sense of healing and restoration that came with it. Getting lost together, crying our eyes out, and then essentially being found again. Maybe that’s a bit of what Gods Kingdom is like. Being lost, then getting found. A song by Housefire reads:
I’ve seen many searching for answers far and wide / But I know
we’re all searching for answers only you provide / Because you know just what we need before we say a word / You’re a Good, Good Father / It’s who you are, It’s who you are, It’s who you are / and I’m loved by you / It’s who I am, It’s who I am, It’s who I am