Monday, August 8, 2011

All other ground...

On Saturday there was a break-in in the ELS girls' dormitory. People showed up at my gate around 9:00am and I spent Saturday morning running around the base in my pajamas, talking to police, praying with the girls, and organizing better security measures.

Law enforcement in this country is laughable at best and the police are exasperating. Two officers showed up about an hour after we called. They took down our story. Then five hours later the fingerprints guy arrived and we explained everything to him again while he walked around and did his thing. About five hours after that, the "detective" finally arrived. How they expect to ever solve anything is beyond me!

I remember from my experience in Tanzania just what a terrible feeling it is to have your property broken-into. You feel violated. It's like a place you always imagined was safe, your place of rest and security, is suddenly compromised. Lately watching the news in America has felt just about the same. My wee investments (yes, I have investments) had just recovered from the 2008 recession when this week's crises hit, and now turning on the news at night is just depressing.

But in the midst of all the craziness of the robbery Saturday morning, I heard myself counseling one of the girls and saying, "It's only things. They can be replaced. You don't have to be afraid. Your safety and security is in God." And then God asked me the obvious question, "Emily, where is YOUR security?"

Having a salary that depends month to month on the well-being and generosity of others and living in a country with the highest crime rates in the world, it's somehow easy to let my security get wrapped up in savings, to find confidence in knowing I have a back-up plan - that if all else fails I'll have something to fall back on. And Saturday morning when I was running around in my pajamas and talking to police and contemplating thefts and financial crises, I was faced with the sudden reality of the impermanence of all this - things, stuff, money. And in His plain but gentle way, God was reminding me that my only security, my only rock, my only confidence is Him. Just Him. 

When every earthly prop gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

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