Monday, March 29, 2010

NYCUP Update Letter: The Triumphal Entry

29 March 2010
Palm Sunday: The Triumphal Entry

Dearest Family,

First, my apologies for communicating so sparsely. If you are reading this, you have committed to praying for me this week; for this and much more, I give thanks! This last week has been so fast and full, and I believe I have felt the full force of your prayers and more importantly, of God's unchanging faithfulness.

The churning and returning of my heart begins with last Tuesday night in preparation for midterms. I had stayed up late to finish writing two essays and studying for two exams, so only slept three hours, which is never enough for my 9:30am to 7:20pm Wednesday class schedule. Before my first class, I was shaken with the news that a dear friend's mother, who had been as a second mom to me, had passed away the night before. With a heavy heart, I determined to survive the day, which I attempted by suspending myself in numbness and shock. In disbelief that God should break me this way amidst a busy week and pre-NYCUP, I entered the first of my two back-to-back midterms. It was my Bible as Narrative class, and the essays were a spiritual pummeling as I was forced for the duration of the exam to contemplate God's trustworthiness and leadership even if only as a narrative device.

In these moments I found that try as I might, I could not deny the truth of God's word or of His love. It was very obvious to me that it was not I who as clinging to the cross, but Christ who would not let me go. The cross was stalking me, I thought in frustration at God's disciplining love in my life, which did not feel merciful in the day's timing. His unrelenting jealousy was a mercy for which I could not give thanks that day... Nor was I thankful that He would make me to live and walk through last week and NYCUP this week not by my own strength and faith but by the LORD's grace and sufficiency in my utter weakness. He was demanding my attention.

In this posture I found myself in the South Bronx yesterday. I could not shake the sense that God would have me follow Christ on this holy week, of all weeks, nor could I deny that so dying to myself would end in joy and celebration and his resurrection in my heart. But that afternoon, totally unprepared sleep deprived and not even packed, I found myself unable to see the goodness of the cross. Instead I saw Christ weeping and praying alone. And cosmic child abuse. I would be led back to the cross in time for Friday, I felt, and God Himself would have to remind me again of Friday's Goodness. To His glory only, He's been doing exactly this.

As I told a friend whom I had asked to pray for me shortly before departing for South Bronx, "Your words won't change my mind or heart now but God... won't stop until He does. You can give thanks for that, even though I 90% can't right now." Praise the LORD. He has been softening my heart and renewing my mind. For my wounds which ultimately are inflicted or allowed by God, I need healing and restoration. And He has it all for me.

In just a day, God has turned my heart back to him and I welcome his triumphant entry. He saves me from my anger, doubt, and indifference. Please pray with me to continue inviting the Savior's lordship in my life and over the injustices that we are confronted with in the inner city. I can't wait to share more with you about what God's already done in this last day and a half and what I trust he will continue to do. But for now, I must sleeeep.



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