Nothing like the desert of northeastern Brazil to get you thinking a bit clearer.
The local folks have a saying: “God is a Brazilian.”
For the longest time I used to think that was a sick joke. Droughts, floods, poverty, hunger, disease and pestilence, ignorance… “God-forsaken” is the term that would spring instantly to mind; if God is a Brazilian, he must be on an extended vacation and the kids have trashed the joint.
The forlorned look of a hungry child, the defeated look of an elderly adult, the cruelty of an alcohol-enslaved father or the hardness of a mother who’s turned to prostitution, the Enemy has made his mark.
How my perceptions have changed.
It is exactly in this “God-forsaken” region that I find him, sometimes lurking in the sweltering heat, sometimes arriving on dark clouds and thunder, sometimes as a gentle wisp of a cooling breeze in the late afternoon.
Always present in the shy smile of a child to whom love is shown, always appearing in the look of the woman set free of the bondage of the spirit of fear, always manifesting in the face of the man healed of crippling back problems. Always.
It is solely about Jesus. His love, his power, his desire for us.
More than ever, that is crystal clear.
Now to him who by the power that is working within us is able to do far beyond all that we ask or think…