… what is the name of my oxen? …

That is why it is only in the act of obedience — the only proper response to the revelation of God’s holiness in Jesus — that the disciples recognize him.  The beauty of holiness includes within it the beauty of spring, but goes far beyond it.  We only have to get up at 5 on one fine morning in May to understand the pagan mystery.  You have to share in the risen life to understand the Christian one.

I understand the above gradually in skin-deep.  It’s when you carry His heart everywhere you go, He will promise to show you where are His people who needs Jesus.  THEY ARE EVERYWHERE!!!  If only you pay attention and stop and absorb for that divine moment He uniquely orchestrated for you, you will see them, you will experience their brokenness, you will touch their wounds, you will need to wipe the blood dripped off from them, you will smell their void echo in their hearts.  In return, I was so challenged and that young man never leave my thought ever since.

I find in total amazement that even when I was in the middle of celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary, when I had the total luxury to simply stay focus onto my family and friends and immerse in all the heart swelling conversations and laughters.  God never let me stop looking around for those people, not even for one single moment!!  He grips my throat and turns my head until I see him!!  And I saw him!!  I gasped for air when I listened to his story. I turned to my husband, Paul, and met his gaze of assurance and then I continued on with the conversation with this young man.

As soon as he approached me and asked me what would I like to order?  “Beef Loc Lac, please!  By the way, are you a Cambodian?” “Yes, I am, I came here when I was 13 years old.  My name is Chantha* (not his real name!)”  My mind already did the calculation and guessed he must have been born at a refugee camp after his family escaped from the war and genocide.  How his uncle sponsored him alone to N. America.  One thing that struck me to the floor was that when he shared about how he didn’t want to think about his family, he didn’t know what to say to his family when he talked to them on the phone, there is no words to say.

I cannot help but rest my hand on his shoulders and encouraged him to not give up thinking about his family and what he can do in the future.

I am marvelled of the fact that the Lord never cease to bring me people that are always outside of the context of my role with Ratanak International.  The Lord called me to serve to be the voice for those who are being trapped and trafficked to sex slavery.  This young man is far from that category.  He is safe, he has an education, he has a job, he is living in a modest environment that seems much much safer than those who live in the middle of a slum in Phnom Penh.  Yet the Lord shows me more than one NGO is doing right now, or 10 NGOs are doing collectively, or 100 NGOs are working towards to bring light to darkness.  The Lord is showing me His Kingdom through this one very person.  Through Chantha*, I remember that tour guide who works in the Genocide Memorial Center next to the Killing Fields. I remember the thugging sound when his fist hit on his chest saying “I so sad!  Why killing babies?  I so sad!! I so sad!!”.  I remember another tour guide in the Toul Sleng S-21 torture center, her small and timid voice brought out accounts after accounts of a monstrous regime that killed more than 1.7million people (one-third of the population at the time).

When I was reflecting on these 3 persons whom I  met in the span of the last 8 months either in Cambodia and here at home.  I know He calls me to take this to my heart up a few notches.  I know the Lord is demanding me more than what is visible presently.  My unexpected tears fell always in the middle of “shouldn’t be places” in front of “shouldn’t be people”.  Yet I care not when and where my tears would fall because my heart and my ears and my hands and feet are adjusting all related devices and inclination to listen, to obey, to follow.  The cost is very high, I know it, yet I care not now!!  Because the Lord is calling me to soar to the sky, but not to settle to waddle on a asphalt parking lot.  A marvelous article by Timothée Paton :

It was just another day. The young man went out to the field as he had probably been doing for years. He was plowing his field with a pair of oxen. Elisha was a farmer and one day he would eventually take over the family business.

Elisha had no idea that on that day, his life would never be the same again. A whole new chapter was about to unfold. A chapter that had not been planned at all. It all happened when an old man, with a similar name as the young farmer came across onto the field that day. Elijah, an anointed prophet of God threw his cloak over Elisha’s shoulders. That very same day, the young farmer killed his oxen and invited his friends for a farewell BBQ. He kissed his Mum and Dad good bye and followed the old man into a whole new world.

Elisha could have stayed on his farm for the rest of his life. Peter, Andrew, James and John could have stayed on the shore of Galilee for the rest of their lives. Instead they left their nets and followed Jesus. David Wilkerson could have stayed in the comfort of his home. Instead he brought the Gospel to some of the worst gangs in New York. Jackie Pullinger could have stayed her whole life in England. Instead she traveled on a ship that took her all the way to Hong Kong. 40 years later she is still there ministering to men caught in the web of drug addiction.

The Bible says that ‘Elisha returned to his oxen and killed them’. What is the name of my oxen? If I don’t put my oxen on the altar as a sacrifice, I can never fully serve God. Don’t even hide the oxen in a small barn somewhere, because when the ride gets rough, coz I will run back to it.

The old prophet has now taken Elisha as his young disciple. In 2 Kings 2, you find them traveling together. At a place called Guilgal, the old mentor tells the young man: ‘Stay in Guilgal, The Lord is calling me to Bethel’. Elisha turns around and says: ‘No way, as surely as you live, I will never leave you!’ They both then head off for Bethel where the very same scenario happens. Elisha will not stay in Bethel; he will follow his teacher to Jericho. In Jericho, the same thing. Elisha is not settling in Jericho. He is heading for the Jordan because that’s where God’s anointing is.

Burning your oxen and saying good bye to your farm is good. But as you walk with the Great mentor Jesus, you can end up stuck in Guilgal. You feel the Lord is blessing you, you have brought some to Christ, you attend a good church but after some time you reach a plateau. I may have been stuck in the “Guilgal” for years. Don’t stop half way. Don’t die in Guilgal, or in Jericho. Head for the Jordan!

I don’t want to get stuck somewhere between Guilgal and the Jordan. I want to make it to the River!  Lord Jesus, take me all the way to the River!! Keep my steps in pace with you, not a step too slow or too fast, that we are to walk and leap in the rhythm of Yours, and Yours alone.  In Your Son’s name, I pray, Amen!!

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