Saturday, January 4, 2014

Showing Off Glory

"That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”  I Corinthians 2:9

We invited a conservative Muslim family over for tea who practice strict social segregation of the sexes.  After eating in segregation we asked them if it would be okay to all sit together so we could show them some of our pictures from Pakistan days. Surprisingly, they agreed. After we showed them some of our favourite pictures they wanted to show us some impressive man made glories of Dubai where they had lived for some years.  What a picture trip of fantasy and glitz we went on. There was an underwater hotel, huge mall aquarium, the world’s highest building which is sometimes lit up with fireworks, dancing fountains, cities made in the sea, water park, etc. The man-made glories were astounding. Then they showed us pictures from Google-earth of their village in their homeland and even the family graveyard and the river they used to swim in as kids...even the tree they swung from had to be shown off.  There was excited chatter among them as they showed their glory places to us.

There’s no Google-heaven yet but, from Scripture, we do have some idea of the glories awaiting us.  We know they will far surpass Dubai’s man-made wonders a million times over.  The glories of heaven cannot be contained or adequately illustrated on a map like Google-earth. It’s quite something that we who know Christ will share in His glory.  I really want my Muslim friends to share in that glory; especially to be part of the glorious wedding feast.

While we await the promise of our future Glory Homeland, we represent our King of Glory to our Muslim friends.  And He can be seen.  I was extremely tired from a spiritual battle one day and was tempted to cancel an appointment with my Libyan friend, Fatima. My witness will be useless, I thought. But, I resisted the temptation and pleaded with God to give me the needed strength. Halfway through our visit Fatima became quiet, stared at my face and said seriously, “Your face looks very different.  You look like a queen.”  What?? I imagined she would see weariness and stress etched all over my face and she saw some royalty? How was that possible?  I realized that through the cracks of my brokenness a Glory was shining through; not of a queen but of the King of glory. I couldn't see that but she could. It left me awed that the Spirit of Glory, Jesus Himself, resides in us, and can actually be seen radiating from our faces. To me that is the greatest ministry anyone could ever have.  I want to be a sunbeam of His glory.  That exceeds any man-made glory we could show off.

So, my friend, if you have a Muslim friend, do not lose heart. Instead of wondering if you are doing and saying everything just right or enough, why not concentrate on your friend being able to see the Glorious One shining through you?

Dear heavenly Father, please let your glory be seen through me.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.