Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: REFUGE (08/29/19)
- TITLE: Tasting Tears
By Linda Lawrence
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However, Carl had to do something—to act. He lay awake hour after hour, mulling over the situation of those in danger. How to aid or strengthen and encourage them? He was a journalist, an international radio broadcaster, a disciple of Jesus. His eyes were ever on the world and what he saw made him weep.
My eyes were on my husband and the burdens he carried for the world. Although I couldn’t bear to think too much about those who were weighing so heavily on his heart, I did my best to provide a sanctuary for him—a place of refreshment where he could rest and be strengthened to carry other’s burdens.
In the 1960’s, China’s Cultural Revolution pulled Carl to move us to Hong Kong where he listened to the stories of those seeking refuge there. He would eventually visit house churches in China, gathering stories of those who found refuge in Jesus’ presence while in prison. The Church in China was written as a healing release of his bottled up tears, shamed by the courage and faith of those who joyfully suffered persecution for the sake of identifying with Jesus.
In the 70’s, Carl’s Vietnamese staff was on a Vietcong death list. The Vietcong were closing in on Saigon, where the staff gathered at the recording studio. He flew in to see what he could do to get them out of the country. He could make and pay for plans for their escape, but only God could open the way for the plans to come to fruition. The first attempt failed but God blessed Carl’s persevering efforts and answered his cries by rescuing his staff in a miracle akin to the Israelites crossing the flooded Jordan. Tears of joy are not quite so salty, it seems.
Writing a book about the Cambodian killing fields was another way Carl tasted tears with the refugees he interviewed. Later, hearing about a new flood of Cambodians fleeing to Thailand’s border, he asked his Haven of Rest radio listening audience for money to feed them. He was thrilled with the immediate response and was enabled to provide food for the refugee camps. But his heart’s longing was to be with them, so off he flew, eager to pass out food himself and to look into the eyes of the hungry, letting them know he saw their tears.
I could understand that passion, but not his insistence on going to Rwanda during the massacres. No, I couldn’t understand, but I also couldn’t hold him back. He was compelled to walk and talk and weep with them—and write their story. What he saw and heard and wrote, A Walk Through Darkness . . . Into Light, haunted his dreams for the rest of his life.
A flood of refugees continues to flow, from continent to continent, long after my husband is dead and gone. He did what he could during his lifetime. He listened, he wrote their stories, he broadcast their needs, he raised money and served food at refugee camps, he raised more money and delivered tarps for shelter. He let a gaggle of camp children clasp his fingers, clenching his heart. He was not afraid to feel their pain, their fear—their despair, their hope.
I was privileged to provide refuge for Carl during his time on earth. I was only able to do that because the Lord was and is my Refuge. When I lay my head down and my mind is awhirl with the storms of life, I curl up under my covers, bending my knees in prayer. I ask the Lord to hold me and hide me in the cleft of the Rock of Ages. I cling to His promises for Eden’s exiles. As transient refugees on planet Earth, we are always offered security and shelter in that cleft of the Rock while we wait for the New Heaven and the New Earth where we will safely dwell—eternally.
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