Tuesday, January 16, 2007


I wanted to write about Urbana, but decided instead simply to cut and paste some sections of my journal. (somewhat edited)I hope that, if you are interested, you will read through it, and maybe make relate to/make sense of a thought or two in there!

Urbana. I think that getting to know Jesus is like looking at a diamond. There are so many different angles you can look at it from, and each time the light hits it, it reflects differently! I saw the light hit the diamond in different ways this week than I ever have before, and it was amazing! No matter how much you know Jesus, there is always SO MUCH MORE!!
Here are some of the treasures that were illuminated in my heart this week.
We live in the tension of the now and the ultimate reality. A paradox of beauty and tragedy. Of glimpses of glory and throngs of suffering. As a reaction to a lady with AIDS, a girl said “The sores on her skin remind me that there is a kingdom that has not yet come. The smile on her face reminds me that it is already here.” (Hope in the Dark reflections book) This is where we are called.

Word made flesh (amazing organization, look them up!)sees the poor as “god’s best.” They are so aware and respectful of the special place that God has for the poor and oppressed in his heart, and the time he takes to mention them
in his word. They say that they want to see God’s best given to God’s best. That means that if we are to go and be in community with the poor, then....
We must be a restored individual and in a restored community ourselves, before we can be a part of peoples restoration.
For me this is a calling, a specific one, an essential calling if any more of my “calling” is to be manifested. I need to KNOW that I am beloved, before I can share with others that they are beloved. I need to be restored by Jesus before I can bring his restoring hope to others.
I need to know my captivity, to understand my liberation. I cannot share it with captives unless it is a reality in my own life. At least not in a way that counts. To be a part of transformation, we must be transformed.
The poor offer us such grace in their suffering. Mission is changing. I think that is HAS to undergo radical revolution, mostly in attitude. Ephesians, talking of the body, the unified body of Christ. Pride must be massacred. Rebuked daily. Pride for the west, for the whites, for the “privilieged”. It cripples what God wants to do.

The upside down kingdom excited me like no other because it is beautiful hope. After studying Luke this semester I have become so much more aware of that whole “redefinition” that jesus brought when he was on earth. Revelation 18:11-14 talks of the “earthly” kingdom, with gold and riches at the top of the pile, and the souls of men and women enslaved right at the bottom. Chris, a guy from "Word Made Flesh", talked of how in heaven, they are going to PAVE THE STREETS WITH GOLD, not because it is precious, but because it is worthless!! It means nothing, thats why we can walk all over it. Instead, at the top of this kingom, is the souls of men and women, no longer enslaved, but redeemed and restored!! How amazing is THAT? Incredible.

As I stood in a stadium of 22 000 people at the turn of the year, all with our hands raised to God praising him with our hearts overflowing, I thought “HOW CAN I EVER DO or WANT ANYTHING ELSE?” Nothing else can satisfy, nothing else can redeem, nothing else can quench, nothing else can give a joy and peace that surpasses understanding. This is life, this is being alive. How GOOD he is to us, that we should be called children of God, that he should call us his BELOVED. Out of this reality comes a life “worthy of the calling” rooted in him, interdependent upon his body as we seek him and obey him in this world.

PROBLEM: We are enslaved. We do not have the courage to respond in the ways that he wants us to.
WHAT ENSLAVES ME?? I think that I feel lacking, lonely, crippled by lack of confidence.
Here is another revelation I had at Urbana. At the risk of sounding cliched, but realizing that what I am saying is not a cliche, I have recognized, in humility, that we can never dream too big, we can never hold back on our imagination. I constantly hold back though, the reason being that I get to a certain point and then think “I could never do x so I won’t go there”. I place the confidence in MYSELF. What a mistake. Our confidence can always and only be found in the one who holds all the power and all the sufficiency to make manifest his dreams in our heart. This really excites me, because I've always known that I have an overactive imagination, and never really recognized it as a tool for God to speak into. Exciting stuff!
“Unify us, purify us, so that we will change the world.”
IMAGINE TO THE END OF IMAGINATION. DREAM TO THE END OF DREAMS. This sounds really sentimental. But here is the thing: IT CAN BE REALITY. Oh God how I want to live a life that is not inhibited by my humanity, but inspired and carried out by the fact that YOU ARE GOD. In those three words are full implications.
Our eyes have been opened to the world this week in a deep way. The spiritual realm, the God breath, that is everywhere, making itself known in the most ignored, oppressed, unexpected and dangerously horrific places on earth!

Here are some things that we assume we can take for granted here in the west but in actual fact we cannot at all.
-Our unrighteousness creates injustice. In so many more ways than we are aware of.
In so many ways we are destroying lives across the globe.
We buy clothes which are made by enslaved children in india.
We laugh at Herbal essence “organic” commercials, rich with sexual induendos, which in turn fuel the child sex trade in Thailand and Camobodia.
We own our education, and it is not ours to own. When we take it, we are thieves.

We have forgotten how to blush, said Chris from Word made Flesh. He said that we have become the prostitutes, because it takes so much to shock us. (E.g. not phased by "organic" herbal essences). We are de-sensitized, which perpetuates injustice. Unrighteousness perpetuates injustice. We have been made righteous, so we must walk in it. How can we not? When we don’t we are killing others. We have to build the bridges and make a stand for purity in EVERY area.
“The reprocussions of injustice are felt in the broken bones and spirits of Thai children.”

Living in true unity means feeling their pain. Oh that we would feel their pain like they were own own family, which they are.
If we have eyes to see our belovedness, then we have eyes to see the belovedness in others and cannot help but respond to that.
The poor must not be seen as victims, but as friends, as mentors, as guides. They are donors, leading us to the heart of God like no other. They are our sisters, brothers, partners and friends.
NEVER SETTLE! This is part of the golden thread that goes along with imagination, dreams, and living a life worthy of the calling that God might take it and use it for his glory. I despise using phrases I have heard enough times to make them sometimes cliches from my mouth. But as I write this entry on Jan 3rd 2007, they are not cliched. They are spoken from a deep place.


Blogger David said...

Inspirational post Hannah, the length is worthy of anything I could ever do I love it!!! And well I wish that was your apartment block, because then that means I'd be in Miami right now! hahaha

7:10 p.m.  
Blogger Caroline said...

Hey Hannah!
I'm so glad you had a great time at Urbana... I would have loved to be there, but unfortunately, it didn't work out. Super encouraging post though, sounds like God is still teaching you a lot. I especially like the part about dreaming big. I too, so often hold myself back thinking that I can't do this or that. Thank you for your words of wisdom!!

9:36 a.m.  
Blogger Amy said...

Hey Hannah!

Since I haven't been able to chat with you for awhile, it was really nice to read you post. I feel like I sat down with you over coffee while you told me everything on your mind. I miss you! Adam and I were talking about getting together with you sometime soon. We always seem to pass each other, but without the time to stop and chat. Hey, maybe we could do a movie night or something...or go out for wings and pints.

Anyway, I should be getting to bed soon seeing as I have a busy weekend ahead of me with that jr.high retreat and all.

Love ya and take care!

12:23 a.m.  
Blogger ~*Trisha*~ said...

Hey Hannah,
It has been a long, long time. I can't even remember now how I came across your blog, but I love readin the things God has been teaching you. You are such an incrediable woman. keep following in those dreams that God has given you and things he has placed on your heart. You truly are a beloved child of His. Never doubt it or forget it.

3:38 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm looking up word made flesh as i type this.
Thank you for taking the time to share this online.

2:14 p.m.  
Blogger Smash said...

Hey there Hannah!
I actually stopped by your blog just to say I was thinking of you this weekend (missions fest was here in Vancouver and there was a whole table of stuff by your dad... I bragged that I knew the speaker's daughter, but I guess a lot of other Capes kids beat me to it! The guy said he'd been hearing that all day!) But anyway, once I got here I started reading... and couldn't stop. It's so easy to become discouraged, and to think that we're not good enough for God's purposes... this blog has been the best devotional I've read in ages! (I hope you don't mind that I've copied parts of it to remind myself with later!)
lots of love and God's blessings to you!

12:55 a.m.  
Blogger Candice said...

Oh Hannah -

That's it!...beautiful! I'm encouraged by the thought of dreaming the big dreams...knowing they can be lived out because nothing is impossible for God. I'm only experiencing the beginning of what that means as I've held myself back for so long...it's almost like I don't really know how to do it. And here I read your blog and am pushed a little more into it.

And the vulnerability of truly loving and empathizing with all people. It's humbling...and so easy to ignore since we don't like vulnerability a whole lot. And yet that's how Jesus loves people. Oh to really learn what that means...!

12:29 a.m.  

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