"For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels." Mark 8:38
On the morning of Christmas Eve four years ago, I found myself roaming the streets of the Melbourne CBD. Outside GPO Melbourne and Myer, a crowd had already queued up to see the Christmas windows. There were statues of tall, lanky elves with brown vests, red shirts, triangular Spock-Vulcan ears. As we passed by outside the cordon that locked in the viewers from the general passing crowd, we could discern the elaborate displays of mechanised, moving dolls, music playing, but I couldn't be bothered paying much attention at this time.
At half past ten in the morning, at the corner of Bourke and Russell Streets, the Asian guy gussied up as an 8-foot tall Christmas tree, with a multi-coloured tinsel skirt and Jamaican cap, complete with the long matted hair, was already spinning his hula hoop for the crowd of bystanders, passers-by, Christmas shoppers, and tourists. He had a note on the ground where the two doll figures stood motionless. It said:
"Greetings to my friends. I am 72 years old and was injured during the Korean War 55 years ago. A bullet went through my leg. You can see if you like. We fought against North Korea under support of U.N. forces. My dream is to establish a church and draw the people of North Korea to God's fold. I've been saving and collecting contributions all around the world for this purpose. Your generosity will glorify God as it helps the furtherance of His work in union with Jesus. Thank you and God bless you. Elder Paik."
This guy's a pastor, I thought to myself amazed. He just kept spinning his white hula hoop. "Are you a pastor?" I asked. He sort of nodded, I think that meant yes but I was still not sure. Then he started preaching. He called me Brother. "Brother…look up Matthew chapter 22 verse 37." This verse declares: You shall love the Lord your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. He called me again. "Brother… Brother," he hailed as I write down notes. "Brother, John 11 verse 25." This verse declares: I am the Resurrection and the Life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live. I asked him how he had been doing this in that place. He said, "Two weeks ago." I asked him what time he started today. He said he started at 10 o’clock and would do it for ten hours straight. Ten hours straight, everyday, I thought about how fit he had become spinning the hula hoop. He said he had been going around Australia. He mentioned about his dream of building a church in North Korea, that he had already saved some money. I asked him where he lives. "Now?," he said, "Near Victoria Park station." I said I live in Sydney. He said he lives in Sydney in Strathfield, and that he’s going back to Sydney. "See you in Sydney," I said, waving a parting gesture with my right hand, and walking off across the road.
I thought about maybe doing something like this, dressing up as someone or something and raising up money for a good cause, even for proclaiming the Kingdom of God. I am deeply impressed with people who are not ashamed of doing something that they believed in, even if it meant doing something demeaning. I guess at some point they’d realize that it is not demeaning at all, and that the nobility or crassness of doing what they’re doing is, like beauty, in the eyes of the beholder. At some point, it would only become noble, and the more they are motivated to continue with the mission they have set for themselves. It is good to have a dream; without our dreams, our lives become drab and meaningless. Dreams bring meaning and relevance to our lives which become stale, bland, and lacking purpose, despite all the activities we surround ourselves in. We’d think we’re doing so many things that we are fulfilling our destinies and our purposes, but there really is just one purpose that we need to find ourselves. Until our energies are put into the service of that purpose, we would be wandering in the desert, and that might take more than 40 years the Hebrews spent in the desert: it could be your entire lifetime.
Father God, bless our dreams and our purpose. Bless all our works that they may all be of service for your Kingdom. Help us not be ashamed in doing our ministry. Help us to proclaim your Good News boldly. Amen.
Copyright 2009 BRoME
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