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Something Bigger

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What is it about certain things that light a fire within us? It’s an unknown and often unaccepted fire that warms us for a moment, but is left to die as we fail to tend to it. These moments just seem to have, and it’s hard to find words here, a sense of power and reverence and beauty. It’s easy in these moments to feel that we have the power to do anything, to conquer any foe and overcome any mountain. The fire fuels us. It’s those moments that we feel that we’re a part of something bigger than ourselves.

I was standing at the front of a small classroom filled with forty or fifty students in the middle of Limpopo, South Africa on Wednesday, October 8, 2008. The white paint on the walls was peeling with age. Graffiti littered the bottom half of the back wall where older teenage boys leaned their backs, their eyes fixated on me. The heat was uncomfortable and a light odor lingered in the air as I stood before a group of people my age, yet an ocean apart.

I had come to give them a gift, a book that would give them hope in their world of hopelessness and almost inevitable failure. I had come to show them a love and kindness like they had never experienced. As I scanned the eyes of the girls sitting in the front row, I was reminded of what I had come for and began to speak.

I explained to them that I was their age and that I go through a lot of the struggles and daily battles that they go through.

“Love, sex, relationships, school, I understand. I’m a teenager. I go through it all.” I said to them. Their eyes told me that they were listening so I went on. “A lot of times we feel hurt. We feel like we’re worthless. We feel that we’ve been used up like a chewed up piece of chappice. No one wants a piece of chappice that has already been chewed. It’s dirty, used, and doesn’t have any more value.” I looked into the eyes of the students. “I want to tell you guys that God doesn’t see you like that. You are not just a used piece of chappice to him. To him you’re more precious than diamonds. Although you may feel used and dirty, you are worth so much to him. You all are worth so much more than you realize or you give yourselves credit for. You are not worthless. You are not worthless.”

The classroom was silent. No one stirred or said a word for a few moments. I scanned the student’s eyes. Many of them looked down as I met their gaze. The silence echoed off of the peeling walls and softly rang in our ears.

It was in this moment that I realized there was something much bigger at work. I could feel the fire warming me from my very soul. I felt a strength rise within me and a power that can’t be described within the restraints of language. I realized that I was a small part in something big. It was something bigger than me and my words, bigger than my love for these children. I was standing in the midst of something huge, something that I couldn’t see with my eyes.

We all have these moments. Moments when we catch a glimpse of the big picture designed by the master planner. It is in these moments that we often feel the most peace, and the most power. It was in that moment in Limpopo, South Africa, standing in front of people my age and doing something that I’m definitely not comfortable with, that I caught a glimpse of the large “something” that I was a part of.
And, is it possible that this something is actually someone? Is it possible that I’m a part of someone bigger, a part of his big plans? It’s in the moments that I catch a glimpse of His infinite power and His big plans that I am often knocked off of my feet. God, in his infinite power, never ceases to amaze me, even in the smallest moments.





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