Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Strip Me Away

Chrisy e-mailed me again, late last night for me, early Tuesday morning for her. She said they were off to the Sterkfontein Caves. Known as the "cradle of humankind," Sterkfontein is an important palaeoanthropological site. (I so felt like Phil Keoghan when I wrote that.) She said she would be unable to e-mail me again for the next couple nights, three days. That's because they are heading over to the Soshonguve Township for a couple days of service, also known as "labor" to those not in the church. A township is a place where black people were forced to live during apartheid. While they are in Soshonguve, they will be working at a place called the House of Joy. Actually, I don't know if they'll be working as in repairing or painting or if they'll be doing something more suited to my tastes like playing with the kids. Rather than me going on about this, I implore you to read this post that my friend Lorie Taylor wrote. Titled A Place of Safety it is one remarkable piece of writing and my favorite post by the Taylors since they've been in South Africa. It literally brought tears to my eyes as I read it. I am so excited that Chrisy is going to the House of Joy and I cannot wait to hear what they do there.

As I mentioned in my previous post, some people have e-mailed and asked, "What will she be doing there in South Africa?" I think it would be helpful to read this description of a NieuCommunities Road Trip. I've talked to some people who don't like the way the Road Trip is contrasted with a mission on that page; or, to put it another way, the wording doesn't sit well with some. In fact, this is a short-term mission. Personally, I really "get it" when I read that description. For me the line, "you come to be transformed" is the key line. I could be wrong, but I think it's all about what goes on inside the partisipant. I think that's why they take these little sojourns to the caves or to a game reserve. I whole-heartedly agree with the values of this organization. I think the currents of communion, community, and mission, which are be stressed during the two weeks are important and wise. Really, this trip strikes me as a very condensed version of NieuCommunities 42-week experience. When I read about that, I get excited about what that could do to a person.

There's a connection here to my experience on Sunday at church. I had the most remarkable worship experience. I don't mean "worship" in the sense of just music either because worship is not just music. I mean that I felt connected to God through the Bible, my pastor's message, my own prayers, and, yes the music too. Indeed, one song really hit it me so hard. Written by our worship leader, Christian Steffen, the song is called "Strip Me Away." More than just singing it and recalling it, it's been "in" me since Sunday. I want it so badly. I thought I would share it with you. By the way, you can actually listen to the song here on Christian's website, Real World Worship.


Hide me in your mercy
Clothe me in your grace
Captivate my eyes
Until I see Your face
Would you disillusion
Until all my illusions are gone
Hide me in Your mercy
Fill me with your song

Stip me away
Til all that's left is You
Hide me away
Until I'm found in You
Fan into flame
Until I burn for You
Strip me away
Til all that's left is You

Would You draw me closer
Closer than before
Til there's no space between us
No distance anymore

--Christian Steffen

I think what I am feeling deep inside me as I read those lyrics is connected to what Chrisy and the Canyon Hills gang are doing in South Africa. People have asked me, "What exactly will she be doing there?" I think the answer just might be: "She's being stripped away."

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