Saturday, March 19, 2011

Help from a brother in Japan

This week has been a strange week for me, blod-wise. 
In the 10 months I've been doing this weekly posting, I've never yet struggled to find a topic. In fact, most of the time, I have a stack of half-written blods sitting around waiting their turn.

But this week I had nothing.
And when I tried to think of something, all I got was either annoying mental silence or, even worse, meaningless mental cacophony.

Even when I prayed for something, I got nothing. Well, nothing except a strong sense that I needed to just wait. So I waited. 

And I wasn't even stressed about it.
Until this morning.

Because eventually the time came when I had to get out of bed. And even though I could stall for quite a while taking care of the dog and making coffee, I knew I still had to sit down at this keyboard and write something meaningful.
In my mind, "This page intentionally left blank" was not an option.
It may be old age, but I've noticed recently that I'm getting very good at procrastinating. And so it didn't really surprise me much when I decided to browse through the internet a while before getting down to any serious work.

So at 8:50 this morning I pulled up everyone's best friend and nemesis, Facebook.

And there it was. At the very top of my wall was the inspiration that had alluded me all week.

And even better (I love how God works!), it came from my own daughter. She was actually posting it last night as I walked past her on my way to bed so I didn't have to work on this blod.

Here's what she put out there for me - and all the world - to see:

This was forwarded from a family friend who lives in Japan.  

This is an English translation of the recent email from pastor Yoshitaka Ikarashi who is serving only 42 kilometers from the nuclear plant in Fukushima. This came in only 10 min ago. 

Dear families in Christ, I just received a good news. They just started the repair works on the electric pipe at the Fukushima First Nuclear Plant. 

The man in charge of the project is a Christian man named Mr. Naoyoshi Sato. If this attempt goes successfully, the critical situation here turns around 180 degree. 

Let us pray in one heart for him! Pray that Christ love and anointing will be on him. May God's Wing and the heavenly hosts surround and protect him! 

As Daniel was, may no fire of harm touch him in God's perfect protection! 

Yesterday, I was told that workers for spraying water on the plant was short. I prayed that Christians be sent. Someone who already has the eternal life, someone who already is promised for bodily resurrection, someone who is with all knowing and all mighty God is suit for this job. 

Please Jesus, Be the shield for this brother! And may people around him witness the miraculous hand of God move on and through him! I pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.

Pastor Yoshitaka Ikarashi

To me, it was worth the wait.

I'm not exactly sure why, but every time I read this I get teary and my throat feels funny. It may be the way this letter brings home (like no objective news program ever could) the reality of what's happening over there. It may be the faith and love for his people that overflows from this man into his words. It may just be a reminder of all the strong, beautiful, wonderful, amazing Japanese Christians I've been blessed to know.
I don't know. For whatever reason, it moves me tremendously, and when I saw it I had no doubt that I needed to share it here as well, for those who aren't friends with my daughter on Facebook.

I truly believe this is why God wouldn't give me any other topic all week. Being as stubborn as I am, I likely would't have put mine aside to publish His!

All this week I kept believing the Lord would provide a word for His people. Naturally, I thought that meant He would speak through me.

But this is so much better.

Instead, I am blessed to be the mouth for Pastor Ikarashi - a man I've never met, will almost certainly never meet, but could not respect more.

Listen carefully. You can hear it in his words. What beauty and power and hope are in the kingdom of our God!