Thursday, 26 March 2015

The map on the wall

There was once a little boy who put a map on his wall.

It was a map of Germany, and it represented his heart's desire: to bring good news to the people of Europe.

He grew up and moved to the other side of the world. Nowhere near Germany. Nowhere near Europe. He still has a map on his wall, but it's a world map, and points out to his daughters the places he's been, the places he still wants to go. And every week he packs his van with an 80-piece dinner set, three rice cookers, dozens of chopsticks, and other things that make rattly breaking noises, and he drives to his local library.

There he unpacks it all again. With the help of others, he sets up tables and covers them with white cloths. And then he brings good news to the people of Europe and beyond.

Italy, France, Belgium, Sweden, England, Ireland, Scotland, and yes, Germany. Lots of Germans, asking him, "Who is Jesus? Why do you need God?" Every week. Sometimes so many that there are not enough dishes and chairs for them.

Rewind a minute. Put your finger on that boy's German map. Find a town that has an umlaut in its name, and neatly stacked woodpiles, and lots of other German things. Picture him holding evangelistic dinners every week there, trying to get villagers to come. Would they? I think not.

Praise to the God who prepares good works for us beforehand, that we should walk in them (Ephesians 3:10). Praise to the God who satisfies our desires with good things (Psalm 103:5). Praise to the God who brings the people of Europe to the fluorescent-lit backroom of a rural library in far off Tasmania to hear His name praised.