Thursday, April 5, 2012


I was just watching a few minutes of the Chronicles of Narnia in the sky high above the states as we soar toward Detroit and home. The scene that intrigued me was where Lucy entered Tumnus little house for tea. A little exchange takes place about winter, two very different views emerge, one sees what can be, what should be. One sees what is, the way things are. Haiti is a land steeped in a cold relentless winter. While the exterior of the land is hot...and I do mean HOT, the climate for the body is frigid. A cold curse of evil hangs everywhere. Broken down concrete structures, unfinished dreams scatter every neighborhood. You can't seem to find anything finished. And when it is it bears the mark of terrible imperfections. The landscape is wracked with erosion, barrenness is everywhere, pockmarked with litter. Everywhere you turn you see things spent, and spent again. It is at once fairly terrifying. You wonder how change can come, if change can come. Against that stark backdrop you get to witness the power of the human spirit to overcome, to rise above pestilence. In the midst of desolation, the spark of human determination flares a bright and sparkling light. I see this every time I enter this land, the inescapable beauty of the human heart. Great veils of evil do their best to bury, to hide, to nullify that spirit, that goodness, that profound gift of a mighty Creator, and on some fronts it succeeds. We are susceptible to it's wily ways, and so are these dear souls, and the temptation field is such a much more primal foe. It tempts not for pleasure so much as just for a loaf of bread to feed a hungry family. What do I know of such temptation and the power to resist when and where the very essence of life is threatened? To look into the face of your starving child with nothing to feed them, how righteously will you behave. But many do, and many resist, and for that they get my applause, my allegiance, my trust. There are so many stories of courage and grace under fire I witnessed this week, I don't want to re-enter the zone of indifference ever again in my life, to take all the gifts that surround me in my life for granted. I don't want to lose Christmas, or Birthday's, or any of the other ways the extravagance of love is expressed. I believe in Father Christmas! In our materialistic culture, I know in these things we can go overboard, but let us seize the real meaning, and never let go. Surrender not to the Ice Queen of the soul, with all her strange and treacherous delights, I have been to a land that has, and the cold of that wintry grasp has frozen a culture in a stony grip from which it's only deliverance will be the breath of Aslan. We go on His belief, caring the tidings of His return! With hope and help we travail in the darkness with the bright light of love! We will soon descend from the lofty and mighty skies of the universe, a universe that constantly reminds me of my smallness, and reminds us that out there is a power greater than that of any man. Narnia echo's of greatness, of the divine touch of a master builder who will restore it's beauty once more, we must not give up hope! Aslan comes! Blessings from Detroit!


Ethan said...

Thanks, Doyle, for your last two posts. They are marvelous. They are clear. They tell the true story. The moonscape pictured above represents the true Haiti and the true state of our hearts without Christ: barren and empty. Thank you for allowing me to come along on the journey this past week. Thank you for leading so skillfully, and caring for us, for me, with such kindness and devotion. Though you possess great courage and heroic perseverance, your most lethal weapon in this war is your tender, loving heart. I believe the war is entering a new phase, where the Lion's army is growing as others join along the way. The dedicated, weary, and, at times, lonely few are becoming many. Time for the rest of us soldiers to step up and move forward towards the front lines, to stand closer to you, side by side.
In Narnia, it is the Lion Himself who wins the battle, in reality on the stone table as He comes to life again, but finally when he finishes evil in the battle. The same is true on this side of the wardrobe: Christ has already won the war. As we will note tomorrow, it WAS FINISHED with the nails pinning Him to the cross. The victory was complete when He rose again. Evil and death were effectively defeated. And yet, the skirmishes continue until the final battle. So we warriors rest in the fact that we already have the victory. It is the faith destined to each of us from eternity and given to us through grace, not our trophies in battle, that is our assurance that we have His favor and share His victory. As we fight on, we can completely rest in our great Aslan's work on our behalf. It is He who has won, is winning, and will win. His sovereign battle plan is perfect and will prevail--not because we are with Him but because He is with us. Take heart and rest your soul in these truths. The book of James makes it clear that though faith saves, it is proven dead without the battle fight, without a spiritually fruitful life. The whole New Testament sounds a loud and clear theme: it is not our efforts that earn us the Lion's favor, that save us. No room for pride, guilt, or fear in this army. We are secure. Since we have such a marvelous savior hero and His mighty victory, why would we ever stop and watch from the sidelines?
What will we do with the time that's left? Will we live it all with no regret? Will we continue to love to the final breath? What will we do with the time that's left?
I am with you, Doyle. Readers, ask yourself whether you want to join our army. Come join our adventure. Come through the wardrobe. And if you don't know Him, come meet the Lion. You will never be the same.

tkaugust97 said...

Wow, feeling a bit weary here . . . as if we were the ones who just got home from such a physically, emotionally, mentally, & spiritually taxing mission!! That nice bed & fluffy pillow sure look especially inviting right now. Is this mission really over? Can we really let our guard down & 'move on' with life? This chapter is finished & a new one begins? . . . because I'd really like to take a rest!

Ah, we'd be fooling ourselves if we really believed that. Sure, THIS special stepping stone in the Haiti missions has come to an end, but our sojourn on earth has not come to an end, and so . . . we'll press on. But from where will we get the strength? Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Funny how just reading God's word can really, truly change my mindset . . . I CAN press on! WE can press on!

Our family didn't physically "go" on this mission, but we learned much along the way in our ceaseless thoughts and prayers for you. The BLOG posts and encouraging comments have blessed our family with a deeper and richer relationship with God (not to mention they really fueled our love and prayers to pour out for you all). Through all of this, I can't help but be drawn to ponder sanctification. We've been transformed. We're being transformed. We'll be transformed. Sometimes transformation occurs without us knowing it. Sometimes it occurs so profoundly you can't help but be shaken and humbled at God's faithfulness to us--an undeserving people. Following you all and praying for you all has been one of those "profound moments" for us. I love God . . . I love Him for saving me . . . I love Him for choosing me . . . I love Him for the way He blesses in even the smallest details of life and how He comforts in the deepest sorrows. I love how He reminds me that He is remaining faithful to me even though I struggle to remain faithful to Him. I feel like Paul when he writes in Romans 7:14b-15,

"I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate."

And God still loves me? . . . Yes! Paul continues in Romans 7:24-8:4,

"Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit."

And He offers His love freely to me and anyone else who recognizes their sinfulness and need for Jesus as their one and only savior.

I can rest.

I have peace, and I can rest. Matthew 11:29-30,

"Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Thank you, Team Haiti, for allowing God's love to pour through you to so many people. It is our hope and prayer that many, many people will see clearly that your love came from God, that (1 John 4:19) "We love because He first loved us."

What a beautiful season to ponder these thoughts. John 3:16,

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."

Just think of the lives you've touched by sharing this message with so many people in Haiti . . . lives there, lives everywhere!

Praise be to God!

Your Prayer Warriors
(& we'll continue to be your Prayer Warriors)
The Gibsons