Living The Life That God Has For Us....
God's Plumbline Ministries is called to repair devastation in the lives of God's people allowing restoration both physically and spiritually. Providing creative solutions for employment, education and life skills allowing God to repair and restore hope. Empowering each community to establish a secure foundation both inside and out, while keeping in tact God given talents and uniqueness, not focusing on man's ways but God's ways. Developing working relationships within social and economic circles, working hand in hand with community leaders to bring the love and compassion of Jesus Christ.
Saturday, August 3, 2013
Bagamoyo, has been rolling around in my head for weeks now.
It, the idea of it, the place, it made me physically sick. Well, the history did, the collections gathered from history. It all made my head spin.
How? Why are there places like this place on the planet? Then or now for that matter?
I asked the tour guide,"who comes up with this stuff?" He didn't answer me.
Robbin Island, Mandela's cell, it made me sick too.
The day before this trip I assured myself and I would be just fine.
I wasn't. I had to excuse myself before I hurled.
It was official I cried at both.
The chains, pictures of men bound at the neck walking for months. Not days or weeks, but months. They would carry another man's greed across Africa.
Final destination, Bagamoyo.
Chained to a post on the sea shore to wait for the ship. The ship that would take you to Zanzibar. From there you didn't know where you would spend your life, but no one ever came back to this place. If, if you made it to the beach at Bagamoyo you would join the others who would "lay down their hearts".
Bagamoyo, in Swahili, it means, lay down your heart.
"Humans as Merchandise" was the title of the book I purchased before I bolted out of the museum to catch my breath. Outside, as I waited for the others to finish the tour, I watched children play at the near by school. All I could think was...humans are cruel.
I have seen this kind of thing in some way shape or form in every country I have been in. It is the thing I don't like about seeing the world. The ways people are hurt, betrayed, sold and used.
But this time I think it was the meaning of the name and the way it happened. People making a choice to lay down their hearts, on purpose. Life, their life, was no longer theirs to live.
Today the chaining posts still stand as a painful reminder next to the fish market at the seashore. They are rusted from the sea air and years gone by, truthfully, you almost don't notice them in this place masked in tourism, artisans and hotels. That is, unless you are just curious enough to ask, "what are all the random pillars are for?" Pictures of the men in chains flash rapidly through your mind unsettling your stomach again.
There are also two churches in Bagamoyo standing not so far from the museum. The white one and the smaller of the two, is the place Livingstone, yes, the Livingstone was laid in waiting for the ship that would take his body to it's final resting place. He too, laid down his heart but for a very different reason. It was for a people that didn't seem to understand what he was saying, yet they walked for months carrying his body out respect so he could go home. It all seemed so ironic on this place, the walking, the respect, going home, free will and slavery.
It had been several days since our trip and I hadn't even began to unpack the different lessons I learned, this place where humans had become merchandise and laid down their hearts. Now I was wondering if we have really changed all that much.
Slaves, chains - bound physically and emotionally, a battle over hearts, freedom and free will. It all seemed like the very same battle being fought since the garden.
We want our freedom, yet often the very things we choose end up leaving us tied to a post at the shore of only god knows what, waiting for a ship to take us out of what we hate, only to leave us all in the place of laying down our hearts because our lives are not our own. Never knowing that a man, not a doctor, a Saviour, came and laid down His life for us even though we just didn't get it, he was bringing us a freedom that spoke of things eternal, but we wanted it all our way and now. He didn't wait around until we figured it out and we finally got it, he just knew that it was going to be the one thing that set us free so He did it with all His heart. A handful get it, love him and make the journey. Others make the journey, they just do it as slaves never knowing love or freedom.
The miracle, He can mend a heart that has been laid down never believing it would know love again, never healed or restored.