September 16, 2009

I Left My Heart in the Jungle

It is a dangerous thing to love deeply as it positions you for much pain...but there is no other way to live greatly. I choose danger, pain and the adventure of love.

My recent trip to the depths of the jungles of Kalimantan (Borneo) was an adventure to be certain. To minister among the former headhunters of Borneo, the Dayak Tribe was an honor.

What I discovered deep in the jungle was the commonness of human heart...not common as it plain or invaluable...but common as in shared and unified. The needs, the joys, the fears, the sin, the potentials, are common to me.

My wealthy, S. California, beach lifestyle and the impoverished, jungle reality of my friends does not create an uncrossable divide of difference. On the contrary. The sharp distinctions in our realities of living underlines the commonness of our hearts.

I rode on the back of a motorscooter with a 50lb suitcase on front and my 220 pounds on the back and a small Dayak pastor piloting in the middle. Amazing.

I submerged myself in the quick flowing river as the only air conditioning available for miles.

I hugged orphans, prayed for needs, sweated through translated sermons, awoke to the sounds of children worshiping at 5am, strategized about future ministry, hiked jungle paths that were like tunnels of green, prayed over property claiming it for the kingdom, ate strange but delectable foods, sang and danced with children, and most of all dispensed and absorbed as much LOVE as possible.

There was one leader who was key to our trip...during the time we grew close. He confessed to me something I am not sure that he has told any one before. His father had never hugged him or blessed him. When I was preparing to leave, I did both in the biggest ways possible...and meant it deeply.

Then I left the jungle....and a part of my heart. But the expansion of the human heart only comes by stretching it through vulnerability. The loss was offset by the gain.

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