Fulfilled in Jesus

Our pilgrimage with our Beloved in Japan -- Yoko & Ramone on the journey with Jesus!

Monday, February 28, 2005

Henna Gaijin

Let me ask you a question. Do you think this man is normal?

He looks innocent enough, right? But is he wearing a bathrobe?

I think he's turning Japanese. Still, somewhat innocent, though.

Maybe he was meditating and fell asleep? (Who hasn't!)

Now he's talking into his fan?? Has he lost his mind?

Well, of course he has. His name is Matt Shores, and he is performing Rakugo, a traditional Japanese art of comic storytelling, in which the storyteller sits in front of an audience on a propped up stage and proceeds to prove to us all that he is genuinely schizophrenic by assuming the roles of as many characters as possible.

And it was great. I hope he does it again sometime soon!

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

A Least of These

Recently when visiting a Maruzen bookstore with my wife to kill time (because the rain ruined our walking plans), I found a book that was exactly what I needed to have.

It's called "God in the Alley" by Greg Paul, and tells the stories of some people he's met while following God in the inner city of Toronto. Drunks, homeless, prostitutes, male prostitutes, drug addicts, and others. God used Greg to start Sanctuary, a community where they could be accepted and experience His love among one another.

You'd think that helping the poor would be a simple, straightforward kind of thing. Bible knowledge, spiritual warfare, deep revelation, etc., these all seem like the more "advanced" things. But I am having to re-read this book because it's so deep.

What is it? Loving people. Really being there for them. We know that God will use us as His hands to love others... we will be Jesus to some people. But we also need to see Jesus in those we love, because He is there.

We know He said, "Whatever you did for the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me." But since yesterday my prayer is that He would reveal Himself in "the least of these" and really open my eyes---and my heart---to really see Him. You know, we really ought to translate that different, "the least of these". What's the opposite? The greatest of these. What's the opposite of great?

Nowadays we'd say, "the lowest of these." The Japanese translation says, "the smallest of these." Think of the lowest person you know. Think of the ones who don't deserve. Think of the ones society (and you and I) think of as low. Jesus says, "Whatever you do for the lowest of these, you do for Me."

Open my eyes, Lord, I want to see You.