Monday, April 06, 2009

Guest Post: The Road to Emmaus

I’m sitting writing this on top of my bed, and all I can see over the top of the computer are my feet, minus 2 toe nails. Lost recently, reminders of my many long walks during my week living in poverty (back in early March) on £2 per day. Denial was all I could think of to do, an active prayer against atrocities being carried out in Sudan.

I’m feeling so bereft; if you’ll pardon the antiquated language, not only of my toenails, but of my much longed for short mission trip to Sudan. It didn’t take place because of that severe civil unrest which went largely unreported to the outside world. So I’m left in some strange limbo of a life with emotions on the spin cycle. People have been killed in Sudan, and I’m anguishing over whether or not to unpack my bag. But my emotions were so intense that I was almost a hologram standing alongside the people in Maridi, Sudan whom I was supposed to meet. This to me was so very much more than a ‘feel good factor’ type holiday. How can I describe it to you?

I was preparing something last weekend for a youth group, small reflections of Jesus last words on the Cross, when I came on something I had certainly seen before but was only really reading for the first time. It was the conversation after the encounter the two disciples had with an unrecognised Jesus on the road to Emmaus, which caught my attention and took me off on one of my many tangential trips through Scripture. It was this:

When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognised Him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:30-32)

For some reason as I lived in poverty, and certainly up until I started writing this I didn’t realise what has been happening to me, I didn’t see Jesus in my life, didn’t feel his touch, brushing lightly as I walked the roads. But, my heart was burning, just like those disciples experienced! I can’t describe the fire, incandescent, consuming, and now it’s gone and I want it back, how I want it back. Will it ever return? Sadly, I’m beginning to realise that there may only have been fuel for a short, catalytic fire and it burned only long enough to cover Maridi in prayer and to help raise emergency funds.

I’ve never been on the road to Damascus, but I have travelled the Emmaus road.

“It is finished.” (John 19:30).

It is accomplished.

My future is in the eyes of a beggar, wearisome, lost eyes. In the eyes of an addict: bloodshot, watery. In the eyes of the pensioner: frightened, lonely. In the hands of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

This is the first of a hopefully regular series of guest posts by Mrs McF.

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