We Will Rise
We Will Rise
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In 1983, I was a teenager working as a busboy in a seafood restaurant when an actor named Kevin Costner walked in. All the waitresses went nuts. For me it was no big deal. Honestly, I have never been wonderstruck by celebrities. I do, however, feel amazed by people who have faced a crisis, then found a way to rise up against impossible odds to inspire the world.
Take C.S. Lewis for example; when he was ten his mother died. His father immediately sent him off to boarding school. In response to bullying he hid in his room and dreamed up a world of dwarves, centaurs and talking animals. Little Clive’s imagination rose on wings of grief and loneliness. I remember listening as my mother read The Chronicles of Narnia to me. How could I have known that my love for Aslan originated in another child’s tragedy?
Early on Victor Hugo was known as a fairly decent French writer. In 1843, he lost his daughter in a drowning accident. Devastated, he disappeared into solitude. A decade later he came out of self-imposed lockdown holding Les Miserables, a story about broken and miserable people finding hope in God. This masterpiece secured Hugo as one of the greatest writers ever born.
There are countless more. Miguel de Cervantes, for example, was enslaved for five years in Algiers. Aleksandra Solzhenitsyn was tortured, suffering for eight years in Soviet labor camps. Charles Dickens labored in the grime of a paste blacking factory. Isaac Newton was abandoned by his mother at the age of three. J.S. Bach’s mother died when he was nine and his father followed her eight months later. The Bible often connects heroic people with hardship.
Throughout the course of our lives, most of us have been shaken down a few times. Or might we call them lockdowns? So here we are now. Mustard Seed schools have been shuttered, and children sent home. We are starting to see the human tragedy not just of a virus, but the cost of closing down the economy. Many are on the brink of desperation and starting to get worried about starvation. It’s one thing to be sitting at home with plenty of reserves in the bank. It’s another to wonder how your kids will eat. Millions of Indonesians are without income and without answers. One of my friends sells insurance but he hasn’t received income for months. Wondering how he will survive, he sold his car and his wife is trying to sell their furniture. Other friends own businesses. They are doing all they can to pay their employees, but most are losing that battle. Few of them can talk about it without melting into tears. All I can do is be a friend, pray for them and contribute to them.
Some of our students are distributing rice among the extreme poor in our city. Innovative parents and teachers have been making medical masks, purchasing boots and goggles, and have distributed over 2,000 face shields to Indonesian hospitals.
We are all deciding how to respond to the Covid-19 crisis. I pray that we allow God to use this challenge to forge character and hope in us. In our attitudes, our words, and our actions, let’s be overcomers. Not long ago, we proclaimed, “Jesus is risen!” But what comes next, really? Perhaps God is calling you to return back to him, to find your hope in him. Let’s have the audacity to say, “Because he is risen, we will rise!”
Paul Richardson – MSI International Director
Mustard Seed is dedicated to helping our field workers in providing for those directly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. If God moves you today, would you prayerfully consider financially supporting those who are struggling?
To learn more about how Covid-19 is impacting the lives of the children in Southeast Asia visit other articles on this website and donate at: https://mustardseed.org/donate-now/
(select Covid-19 Response)
Any amount will make a difference in their lives. Thank you for your support and prayers.