Redemption and Reconciliation
In the book of Revelation 7:9-10, John accounts the following from his vision of Heaven: “As I looked out before me I saw there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, every tribe, people and language standing before the throne and in front of the lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the lamb.” (Revelation 7:9-10) For the past year or two years of my life God has put me on a specific journey, a sojourning of reconciliation, a redemption of my soul from the depths of spiritual poverty I found myself within. Along the way I have picked up a couple other totems of reconciliation which I have decided to wave high and for all to see.
While here in Ghana, the Lord has firmly cemented into my heart to pick up and wave the flag of Racial Reconciliation in America. The bringing back, or for the first time, reconciling race relations in America and healing wounds found deep within Church pews by people who bleed the same but who have been treated horrendously because of the colour of their skin. You’re probably wondering why I am talking so much about America when I just spent that last 9 days in Ghana serving the Nzema people, sharing the gospel, and celebrating the opening of a clinic CVC spent years planning. Well, a little under a week ago, on our long drive from Accra to Half-Assini we passed by a castle. I forget the name of this castle but I won’t forget it’s past purpose. This castle was used to hall in slaves to be bought and sold and to be taken potentially across the ocean to be beaten and enslaved the rest of their lives by Americans. Upon seeing the castle from the road as we drove by I almost cried. I almost asked the driver to stop so I could run up the hill burst through the doors and cry and ask for forgiveness for the past sins of my ancestors. We drove on but my heart and mind stayed still. Flash forward to this past Thursday. We spent the afternoon on the beach relaxing before our final intense days of clinics. We swam and laughed. After an hour or so our Ghanaian friends who were also our interpreters joined us. We laughed and swam with them. We played volleyball in the water and we spent a very long time just being goofy and kicking around a soccer ball. Joy was springing forth from every pore on my body as people from different tribes, tongues, and nations joined together in joyous celebration of simply being human together. I smiled so much and for so long my cheeks were sore. Later that night I was journaling and as I closed my journal and began to pray and think about sleep I felt a deep “ping” within my chest. A flood of tears cascaded down my cheeks and I began to sob. I knew exactly what was happening so I share with you, now, what I wrote in my journal late Thursday night: God, I think my heart just broke for America tonight, here in Half-Assini Ghana. My heart broke for people who would look at my Ghanaian brothers and sisters in terror, hatred, discomfort or unsureness. Lord racism sucks! I feel so clearly what you are doing in my heart. I hear you Lord, loud and clear. Lord God help me to never forget this beach day, this time of love, fellowship and laughter. May I never forget this glimpse of glory. Yes, God sent me to Half-Assini Ghana in order to break my heart and show me part of my Kingdom purpose. We are not so far removed from the days of people being shuttled about like cattle being bought and sold like property in castles by the sea. But as each day comes and goes we can be one step closer to reconciling our brothers and sisters to Christ and to each other. We can be, if we choose to be, indeed making it possible for people to see glimpses of Heaven. The real Heaven, where every colour of skin is represented and put on display to further reveal how holy and glorious God is. Reach out your hands, reconciliation begins with a handshake. All that you need is the Love of Christ, a willing and humble spirit and perhaps a soccer ball. In the name of Jesus, Kyle Cryan