"I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don't have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you." Liam Neeson as Bryan Mills in "Taken" Who wouldn't like to call someone on the phone who has just harmed or kidnapped your daughter and make that kind of statement? Even better than that, who wouldn't like to have the "skills" it would take to find, break into, and literally wreck everyone in your path to rescuing your daughter? Apparently a lot of men are stirred by the notion (probably a lot of teenage girls are stirred by the notion of being that protected and pursued by their fathers as well)...there have been 2.8 million viewings of just this one trailer on YouTube to date.
One time, I got nose to nose with a bully who was throwing sand in my daughter's face and compromising her time on the merry-go-round with her friend. I told the kid in no uncertain terms to knock it off and he did. I walked a little taller as I headed back to our picnic tables, but secretly wondered if the large extended and tattooed family of the boy was creeping up behind me. Let's just say we waited until we got home to have our dessert.
Not really that big a deal other than it felt a bit dangerous and I didn't let that keep me from addressing her need. Not a big deal, but a really big deal. Every day is filled with opportunities to stand in strength or choose resignation. Standing in the fullness of God's intended identity is like the completion of a 1000 piece puzzle. A box of cardboard scraps doesn't really tell you much until it is uniquely crafted into something evocative and beautiful.
My bride of 21 years and our two teenage daughters are headed to Uganda/Ethiopia in three weeks. Folks are always surprised to find out that I won't be traveling with them. They typically ask the same question, "Aren't you afraid for their safety while in Africa without you?" I have to say that I am incredibly afraid. Not that they will catch a disease, get abducted, or find themselves stranded in some sort of peril. I am fearful that they won't get wrecked by the experience. That God won't fully peel back the curtain of eternity and blind them with a gospel imperative to change the world that shouts down all the less wild lovers of our western civilization.
My daughters are beautiful young women who love the Lord, actively engage in their personal faith, and are generous and kind-hearted. They are also directly in the cross-heirs of an enemy who would love to destroy them with materialism and all that our culture esteems.
- Sometimes it takes getting out of town for a few days to change your perspective.
- Sometimes it takes going to a different culture to see ours more clearly.
- Sometimes it takes going to the third world for God to really get your focus around the things that break His heart.
Join me in praying that my wife and daughters would get wrecked. That nothing would ever appear the same upon their return. That they would never truly re-acclimate to their former life. That they would see the world in terms of the plight of the broken-hearted. That they would begin to take their place in the larger story of God. That they would be world changers for His name and His renown. That the life and lifestyle of our entire family, as well as many around us, would be irreversibly changed. That they would be taken from much of what they know and delivered to all that He intends.