Praise Amidst the Chaos
I was filling up our tea jugs when I found out more refugees had arrived, and were in need of some hot tea and TLC. As I turned the corner in the courtyard I noticed a family sitting on the make-shift bench our guys had built the night before. The head of the family, a broad man of about 40ish, started grabbing cups, and as I filled them, he began (with exceptional English) sharing a little about his journey from Turkey.
The boat was taking on lots of water with big waves, and there was way too many people on board. He told me about this little girl who had fallen to the bottom of the dingy and was under the water. His eyes seemed as if they had seen too much trauma, and appeared deep with despair.
As he was telling me this story, all I could do was pray that this little girl he spoke of was safe and had survived.
Sure enough he confirmed that she was okay, that someone helped her and she is fine now.
With a visible spiritual weight lifted and a beaming smile on his face, he went on to say “it is only because Allah that we are here” with hands uplifted gesturing towards the heavens. In that moment I joyfully responded with “Yes! Praise God!” Perhaps in that moment we weren’t praising the same God, in fact it is highly likely that we weren’t. Romans 12 was a chapter we focused on for our time here in Lesvos and verse 15 clearly states “Rejoice with those who rejoice.” In that moment, I’m thankful for the celebration. In a time where we would expect mourning and weeping, this man was grateful.
A man who was shaken to his core in a time where it would be very easy to curse the heavens, was quick to rejoice. My prayer is that he will come to know the Father in an intimate way, that he will one day declare that it is Jesus who turns his mourning into dancing.
My heart’s desire is to become one who is quick to praise amidst chaos and storms.