A few days ago we had a barbeque at the Church and I was yet again the guest of honor. We spent the afternoon cooking. Barbeque chicken wings, Umbus (a traditional Murut dish made with shredded greens and babi-pork), Milo crackers, rice, babi soup, and fried cakes stuffed with sweet black bean paste; it was a feast. The 'Oh my English!' Class sang a song dedicated to me and presented a cake frosted "Oh my English! We love U, Julia." And yet again there was that feeling. That feeling of being overwhelmed by so much kindness. It seems like a silly thing to wrestle with, but I have been struck with not knowing how to process...so much kindness. I have been not only fed and cared for by these people, but I have also been loved by them. At times I have been faced with not knowing how I could ever repay them in any way. And that's I think it. It's not about "re-paying." Maybe it's more about accepting and loving it for the beauty that it simply is. Maybe it's about grace. Being able to accept and receive grace in order to then share it. I am reminded constantly of what grace is here. There is nothing I have ever done to deserve this grace, and there is nothing I can ever do to deserve it. It's just there. And so what I pray is that in turn I can share this gift of grace that has been poured out on me here.
Some of you might know "Grace Like Rain," it's a song that has become so dear to my heart after several summers at Rainbow. And it's a song that my mind keeps returning to here.
"Grace Like Rain" Tod Agnew
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I'm found
Was blind, but now I see so clearly
Hallelujah, Grace like rain falls down on me
Hallelujah, all my stains are washed away
Are washed away
Twas Grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed
When we've been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun
We've no less days to sing Your praise
Than when we first begun
So my prayer for you is that you can have grace for yourself, for others, and for this big world that we live in.