There is nothing worse that sitting down to write a blog and having nothing to write about, at least in your own head. Writers block has been talked about and analyzed but it usually has to do with a writer of fictional novels. Writing about mercy and partnerships up here in the North Country and the multitude of things that are happening should be relatively easy, but as I have said the links that keep us together also have a lot of things that try to separate us. When people stop and look at the culture and its effect of our life together, the conclusion is that the more connected to information we are, the less information we actually have. There are news articles and tweets and polls all over the place but the fact is we are usually short on facts. News organizations are more interested in what happens next than on what happened, and so they are not covering news but fortune telling.
I just heard of the attack by Islamic extremists at Manda Bay in Kenya.. There is an airport that US troops use and it was attacked by al- Shabab and three Americans were killed. Manda Bay is in a particularly beautiful part of Kenya. It is a fairly well kept secret but it has some marvelous resort type attractions and could be a great tourist destination. It suffers from the problem of a paucity of information. Tourist folks do not want to talk too much about issues of terrorism and resort folks want to protect people and give them a good time, while there are rumors swirling around to stay away. One group wants people to come and stay, but we don’t want to be too loud about it. Others exist to keep folks away and so there is the information gap.
We have wonderful ministries and partnerships around the world we want to support and grow, yet, if we publish too much information it may get the attention of folks who want to destroy it. We have work we do with children but we have to keep a certain lid on where the work takes place because there are folks who will travel around the world to find vulnerable children to abuse, and so we have the information gap. We would love to take groups of people on information trips so they can see the work being done and yet the possibility of abuse is high and we have to have extra levels of security. I just received a marvelous video of work being done in an African country but there is a huge warning label that says “do not share on social media”. It is meant to be shared in small groups down in a basement or in a fellowship hall somewhere.
I guess the constriction of information is something that is to be expected and often it is God himself who does the constricting. How many times was Paul stopped from going somewhere or preaching in some places and so for awhile the missionary efforts seemed to be a scatter gun approach and yet hind sight, when the puzzle is put together everything, as Paul says “worked together for good”.
The Wise Men came because they had seen a star in the East. They came looking for a King to the logical place where the King of the Jews should be – Jerusalem. Without Herod, the Magi may have never found Jesus and noteworthy is the fact that the Scriptures were employed. Yet Herod’s offer of publicity for the new born King by coming to worship him is offered “in secret”. No publicity now but later and it is not only a ruse, but a murderous plot that sends the Magi back home by another road. Wise Men leave in secret. The Holy family leaves for Egypt in secret and comes back in secret and all along the plan of God is working despite the paucity of information.
There is a phrase that bureaucrats use – “need to know”. You aren’t allowed as a private citizen to know certain things because you don’t need to know. There are things in God’s plan I don’t need to know and maybe that is a part of a mature faith. But, it is still a tough thing to go to someone and say “I have a ministry here that needs support and help, but I can’t tell you where it is or what it does, and that is the reason for the need”.