Have you ever tried to explain a great experience in worship to someone only to realize they weren’t really getting it? After a passionate attempt to explain it to them we throw our hands up and say, “Well, I guess you just had to be there.” Sometimes the best words still fall short of telling the whole story.
I wonder if that’s what Philip was feeling in John 1:45. Philip has met Jesus and is running to try to explain to his friend, Nathaniel, why he should come and meet Jesus too. Nathaniel doesn’t seem convinced and poses a cynical question to Philip. Philip is wise enough to know when it’s not a good idea to argue. He doesn’t even respond to Nathaniel’s question. Instead, Philip says, “Well, come and see for yourself.”
There is a great Shangaan proverb which says Mahlo ya kwahle ya tiva hi muyevuri, or literally The eyes of the lizard are only seen by the hunter who kills it. The meaning of the proverb is that somethings can’t be known until you experience them for yourself. We can listen to stories from our friends or family, but ultimately the gospel is something we need to experience personally. When kids in Zimbabwe get to hear a bible story tied to things in their own life, by their own teacher, it allows them to experience the gospel in a whole new way.
The next time someone seems ready to argue or be cynical about life, maybe you need to ask them, “When’s the last time you stared a lizard in the face?” You can remind them that some things need to be experienced firsthand, so why not come and check it out. We are confident that our Savior will not disappoint and that God alone has the power to soften hearts and open eyes. So, what’d you say, up for some lizard hunting?
The elections did not go smoothly. There were small outbreaks of violence alongside accusations that the election results were invalid. Despite these setbacks, the country still progresses in a positive direction. Multiple countries are engaged in talks with Zimbabwe to increase business and trade. I am reminded of the fact that the success of the Kingdom of God is not tied to worldly powers. In fact, when things are difficult, the impact of teaching on things like courage, patience, and endurance become all the more important. Both teachers and students need the encouragement and a reminder that God specializes in bringing hope to hopeless situations. There are many signs that things could be brighter for Zimbabwe in the coming years, but even if they are not, the church will just shine all the more.
Lawson Family Update
Our last Sunday at Woodruff Road Christian Church is September 16. We move out of our apartment the following Monday. The tension around Zimbabwe elections may slow down our immigration paper-work, but we still hope to move to Zimbabwe in the fall. It is likely we will be USA until at least the end of October. The extra time will gives us the perfect opportunity to come meet with groups and present more about what Eudo is doing.