Saturday, April 19, 2008

Fredigar is looking tired

It has been a long day today. I got up this morning and did e-mail. Wrote some letters. Sent my daughter some emergency money to get her through her Senior Banquet- shoes, earrings, and a haircut were urgent indeed. I filled out a World Food Program proposal for a poor village- a Herculean feet to be sure. I then went out and helped a friend move into a new house. I sprinted from there- missing lunch- to a meeting about Bible translation and then went straight from there to a meeting about the new Bible College some friends of mine are establishing. But, no rest yet, I then went out with my wife to our house church where we had a meal together and then watched a video about God's work among Muslims. This particular video talked about the use of dreams in God's work with Muslims. It was very interesting. We got home around 8:30pm and then I finished reading the fifth Harry Potter book to my son. The book is over 750 pages long, pardon me while I catch my breath. But I can't go to sleep yet. I am inspired to write about Fredigar.

Fredigar and his wife come from the southern half of our planet. He is a lawyer and came to Middle Earth with great plans and ideas. He joined us and then set up a Christian law firm. I love him and his wife very much. When our friends in Anfalas were baptized a couple of years ago he said, "Praise God! I have been waiting nine months to hear about something like this." I told him I had been waiting for six years and he had better learn some patience. But he was determined to work hard and see instant results. He did work hard but he was constantly frustrated at the lack of tangible results. But he stayed at it. One day he was working with a young lady, her daughter, and her brother in a court case. He came to me and said, 'God called us to feed the hungry and this lady is hungry. I must take her in.' I thought it was a terrible mistake but God said to me right in that moment, 'Strider, he must do this for his own sake more than for hers.' I was not sure what this meant. I told him it was crazy but to go for it. He took them all in. He and his wife had been unable to have children and now late in life- not that late they are in their early fifties- they had a very disfunctional family. They were a mess. There were all kinds of issues and it is a long story but for now just know that the lady is not living with them anymore and they are now the sole provider for the little daughter who is just five years old. They also look after the teenage brother who has such severe issues they don't know what will become of him.

Fredigar continued to work at the law firm. He has been continually frustrated that he was not able to save Gondor in a year's time. But he wont quit. Today his office is a place of constant ministry. People come for counsel and they are prayed for and cared for. He started a small business enterprise recently to train local believers with a skill so that they could go out to the villages of Gondor and do ministry. As a lawyer he is continually sought out to give advice concerning the myriad of Governmental issues that assail all of us. Fredigar is looking tired. He has lost weight. His face is drawn. As I look at him I am concerned for his health both physical and emotional. But God is teaching me something new. It is a very old something new that I should know but somehow I have not learned. Under the old covenant the priest used to pour out drink offerings. Paul refers to this as he describes himself as being poured out on behalf of those he was called to minister to. Fredigar is pouring his life out in love for inumerable people in need. He is pouring his life out as a drink offering to Christ. He has loved and loved and loved until the lines on his face proclaim the passion and compassion of Jesus. I do not love this way. Oh, I believe in rest, in pacing oneself, in relying on Jesus to solve other's problems and not trying to be everyone's saviour myself. Fredigar understands this too. He just doesn't let it stop him from serving the poor with an unquenchable love. Fredigar is looking tired and I hope with all my heart that I can learn to be as tired as he is. I truly pray that I will be poured out as a drink offering for my Lord so completely that when Jesus returns he will find me with lines on my face and care-worn hands.

1 comment:

Bryan Riley said...

And sometimes I wonder whether I should continue to use my legal training. Who knows. Great story and fantastic teaching about God's passions in and through another, God's voice, and presenting oneself as a living sacrifice.