Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | July 10, 2015

The Dark Threads

Amman, Jordan

The writers of the psalms understood what it meant to be in trouble. “How long, O Lord, will you look on?” David cried out. “Rescue me from their destruction, my precious life from the lions!” (Psalm 35:17). I love the Book of Psalms. There are times when the psalms speak to us. And there are times when the psalms speak for us — times when we are in such utter distress that we must borrow the language of the psalms to cry out to God.

Rami and Bible
Many of the displaced Iraqi Christian refugees have adopted the language of the psalms. I can hear the ancient voice of the psalmist every time I sit to listen to their stories. These distressed individuals understandably have questions about the evil they have experienced, the loss they have suffered, and why the wicked seem to triumph at their expense. And so these troubled waters that lie deep in the well of their hearts eventually surface in the bucket of speech.

Who can fault these distressed refugees for their questions, confusions, and complaints? We do the same thing when we are in trouble. There is something about us that wants to know why we experience troubles and when we will be delivered from those troubles. There is something about us that longs to make sense out of it all, wondering how the dark threads of our lives can possibly make sense in the tapestry God is weaving.

Aziz and Mother
As I listened to one elderly woman complain this week I affirmed that it was ok for her to do so. After all, in the words of the psalmist, God remembers that we are fragile creatures of dust (Psalm 103:14). He can handle our complaints while He works out His purposes in our lives. One thing is certain, that although we may never fully know the “why” of our troubles on this side of heaven, we will ultimately understand the “why” when we finally get to heaven.

I told this troubled woman about my visit to the home of Corrie ten Boom in 1996. I explained that Corrie and her family had provided a hiding place for Jews during the Second World War — something that eventually resulted in the loss of her entire family in concentration camps. Our guide showed us a needlepoint that Corrie had stitched and later framed. “It was her favorite piece,” he said as he pointed to what appeared to be a chaos of threads behind the glass of the frame.

But then, he turned the frame over to reveal what, to my surprise, were the words to “The Weaver,” a poem I had memorized years earlier. No wonder Corrie eventually forgave those who had killed her family. The words of this little poem make a lot of sense.

My life is but a weaving,
Between my Lord and me.
I cannot choose the colors
He worketh steadily.

Oft times He weaveth sorrow
And I, in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper,
And I the underside.

Not till the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly,
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reasons why

The dark threads are as needful
In the Weaver’s skillful hands,
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.

Praying for Mother
This has indeed been an emotional week for those of us who have visited in the homes of Iraqi Christians displaced from their homes by ISIS, the very embodiment of evil. One woman sighed as she asked, “What can we do? What can we do?” She understood that she was powerless to retaliate or to make things as they were before ISIS disrupted her life. And then she answered her own question, “We can trust in God.” And indeed we should. He alone can take the dark threads of our lives and use them to make something beautiful.


Responses

  1. Omar, it hurts my heart to read this each night. I know your debriefing is over and I picture you in your room at the end of the hall writing today’s entry. I know how it feels to watch the refugees in such emotional agony. I’m sure it’s different as you meet with more Christians this year, but their plight is all the same. I’m praying for you all and anxiously await each picture and blog. Your listening ears are helping so many. Please extend my greetings to Jamal, Rami, Yousef, and all the others.

    • Hey Kelly… Thanks for following our journey. Our Jordanian friends send their greetings. We are headed to Madaba in the morning and will meet with a few Syrian families there. Thanks for praying for our team. See you soon.

  2. What an amazing trip you have had. Life changing for your team and such a blessing for the people you are loving on. The threads of this trip will be golden ones woven into the fabric of the student’s lives. May the encouragement you have shared be long lasting precious memories in the refugees lives- when God tangibly showed them He has not forgotten them.

    • Amen. Good words, Cathy. That is indeed my prayer for our students and those we are serving this week.

  3. My heart breaks for these families as I pray for them and for the team wanting to do so much more for them. Thank you for leading our students as God works in the tapestry of their lives this week, too.

    • Thanks for your prayers for the refugees, Carla. Knowing that they are not forgotten has been a huge encouragement to them. I am very proud of our students and the compassionate way in which they are serving those in pain. Thanks for your prayers.


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