Waiting for a story

October 5th, 2015 Posted by Abigail Van Peursum


Injustice has shown me her cards this summer. Or at least I’ve heard her stories. Stories she has been sewing for decades in Southern Africa to rip apart families and steal the hope of being truly human. Stories that spell out the impact of disease as HIV continues to sweep like wildfire. Stories of anger and child abuse. Stories that whisper of fear, of abortion and of sexuality that is out of control and used to oppress, control and satisfy a hopeless flesh. I’ve met women and men who are crying out.

And this righteous anger wells in me, I sit before the Father and ask him what. the. heck. are we supposed to do. And my patient Father. He began to tell me a story.

The story started with family. It started with joy and laughter and a unity. Like a late night around a fire after having long been away, where we are fully accepted and enjoyed and together with those we love. And then he began to tell of a creativity that came as the family began to express the beauty they had known together. And he told me, girl it was good. And it was so good they wanted to share this. And so they began to create little ones, little ones that looked just like them. It was perfect. But when the children began to grow they began to see choices, they wanted to explore the unknown and have their own thing- apart from the family. And so they did, and they made poor choices which distanced themselves from the family. Soon after guilt began to grip these children because they knew it was their choices that brought this dreadful separation. And the kids became ashamed of who they were. They started to wonder if there was something wrong with them- if they weren’t worthy again to join the presence of the family. So again- separation came.
And the family! The heartbreak they felt! The longing they began to experience for these children. They didn’t care what they had done. They didn’t care how the children had acted or what they had said. The family just wanted their kids to come home. And they were going to do whatever it took to get them back again. And so the father of this family, he began to go after them. He knew the children couldn’t get back on their own. He was ready to go to whatever lengths necessary to see the family together again. He would bring them back to the joy, to the peace and acceptance he had once known with them.

And so the story goes, that these choices led to a separation that was forever. A separation as tall as death. And the only way to have his children back was to defeat this death. And that is the very thing that happened. He couldn’t have it any other way. He would bring his children home.

And as He was telling me this story. His story. This He said, was what justice looks like. This He said is what He is doing. And He will have his family. His son will have his bride. And he will not stop pursuing us, He will not grow faint. He will not grow discouraged. He will establish justice on all the earth. And this He said, is the good news. This He said is the gospel.

And so as I have heard the stories from these men and women that cry out. I realize they are crying out for this story. For this story to define them, have them, become theirs. I realized that what a teacher said to me during YWAM is really true. “The whole world is waiting for a story. And that story is the man Jesus.” And His story is alive. And if we believe it, it will redefine and rewrite all of our stories- no matter the plight or strength of the hand that seems to be in control of the pen on the page. His story is ours. And we are His.

JOHN 17:3

My Beat the Drum teaching partner and I in South Africa, Felix!

Intern Limpo Mvula and myself at the Indian Ocean

A sunset worth sharing from South Africa over the community we served in:)

The interns celebrating the completion of the summer with a safari

Students in South Africa- celebrating our presence in their school and The Story we shared

Myself and Maggie- This woman is a warrior, a social worker in the school in South Africa I taught in, fighting the fight against injustice with these kids every day. She inspired me tremendously!

A bash in Zambia- celebrating the Beat the Drum program in their school

The wild interns again:)

My Friends! (left to right; Elena, Mariska, Myself, Joash and Thando)

Friends reunited since 2013 (Elena, Timothy, Myself & Miriam) Remember this story??

Intern Emily Hens and one of the students she connected with and encouraged during Beat the Drum in Zambia

abby_author ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Abby Phillips is the Program Architect of Poetice International.