Saturday, October 5, 2013

Losing Face. Witness love.

I've been angry this week. A lot.

Our China managers are here for training and business strategy. We are writing new contracts and tightening what our manager calls leakage. I have some incredible and exciting miracles to share with you, but this is on my heart today.

They described many situations of dishonesty from our China partners. This doesn't come as a shock. We have been working on some situations for years. But the reality stings hearing it first hand.

Some of our partners are very honest and upright. Others sadly are not; they put on a good face when we go to China. In China, they call it knives with smiles. It makes me angry because my father has spent years helping them build their farms, build their business and giving them tools to be successful. They use what they want and do their own thing for their own pleasure.

In China when someone does something dishonest, they call it losing face. When someone is very dishonest and cannot be trusted at all, they say he has no face. Too often, they respond in the moment for their pleasure, while denying our agreements and word.

It makes me think about my relationship with God. How often I put on a good face then take what I want and use it for my own pleasure?

Lose face. I responded to the moment by letting my anger deny I live for Jesus. It wasn't intentional. Does that make me a little like Peter?

Peter promised he would never deny Jesus. Everybody else could, but he would die before bending. Then he responded to the moment and three times, lost face. The rooster crowed.

At that moment the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Luke 22:61a.

Can you imagine? The denier and the denied face to face. It must have been a paralyzing moment, searing the mind and heart. Peter realizing what he did. Jesus knowing. 

What did Peter see in the eyes of Jesus? I think he saw compassion, grace and sorrow beyond what he could bear. Peter saw love he could not understand. 

And Peter left the courtyard, crying bitterly. Luke 22:61b

Maybe that was the moment Peter completely believed for the first time. I don't know, but it changed Peter's life. Maybe that black night and the rooster crow was the very moment Peter truly became the rock. 

Black moments of losing face can change our lives too. 

Have you ever heard the rooster crow?

I've heard. I've been like Peter in some ways this week. By being angry and impatient, I denied for the moment that Jesus is my Lord. When I allow that to happen, I lose face.

When we lose face, we lose our witness. In our worst moments Jesus turns to look at me, at you. We behold the same compassion and grace.

Thank you God that no matter what we have done, Jesus knows. 

Jesus turns to look at me. He turns to look at you.

See love.