After a couple days of "civil unrest" (a euphemism for riots and tribal warfare) things in Conakry finally calmed...well, maybe not to a state of calm but at least to a state of retreating to regroup. I was glad...and I wasn't. Because somehow, the break in the fighting doesn't feel like peace. It feels like halftime.
My friend Al is from the Susu tribe, who are the indigenous tribe to Guinea, and also the ones who have stayed out of the fight between Malinke and Peul. I heard experts give their assessment, but no one summed it up as well as him...and he barely speaks English. "Malinke love power. Susu love power."
Yep! That's about it.
Yesterday another local friend and I were talking and commenting on the brief calm we're in right now, he said, "They will fight until they get hungry. Then they stop. It is when they are not hungry, they make trouble."
Ouch. This leads me to the other thing that has been weighing my mind lately. Back home in the good ole' US, some of the churches I adore are in hard times. They may not realize they're in hard times, but they are. They are attacking other parts of HIS body, parts of HIS body that truly love and serve the FATHER. It makes me angry. But my African friend hit the nail on the head. "When they aren't hungry, they make trouble."
and the American church is not hungry. Not yet.
We're rich and fat and church is a club... because it can be. It costs nothing to be a devoted church member.
So, with full stomachs and lack of need, we cause trouble. We complain and pick one another to death and get mad when they won't dance to our flute. We have our precious law (our rules of the club) our doctrine, our denomination and we have made the KINGdom of GOD a matter of talk. And oh do we talk... But JESUS said that the KINGdom is a matter of power.
This sounds harsh, doesn't it? Dang it. That' not what I want. I don't feel harsh... I just feel sad. I really wish I could sit and tell you this post face to face instead of as words on a screen. I wish you could hear the love I feel for the body of JESUS in America and the sorrow I feel at our failing. I want HIS church in America to get that being the church means that your life is JESUS. And life in HIM is infinitely greater than a political party or a denomination or a religion. I long for us to be hungry for JESUS, to be totally consumed with loving the brothers, to find our fellowship in the SON...just the SON...not in our preferences or personal convictions.
I long for us to stop devouring one another.
It's ironic, isn't it? That it usually takes persecution, need and hunger to make us stop eating one another.
A hungry church won't spend their time nitpicking others in the body and tolerating personal sin. They are too busy fighting the real enemy! They are too hungry for REAL FOOD to waste time with the empty snacking on other believers...they want bread that satisfies---the UNLEAVENED BREAD. The BREAD that brings fellowship and unity and brings us back to the simplicity and reality of life--JESUS. Beautiful, Satisfying, JESUS.
GOD make us hungry