The noise of a rushed and hectic city is drowned out as I place my ear buds in my ears and escape the stress of the week. I walk with the intention to walk and nothing else. I turn and find that as I peer through the city streets of Kayseri, there lies a snow covered mountain, an oasis of fresh air and raw beauty at the end of a thick concrete jungle. I decide to walk that direction. These Twenty One Pilots lyrics echo through my head as I venture forth.
“Although I have been traveling the deserts of my mind,
And I haven’t found a drop of life.”
The sky erupts into shimmering red as the sun begins to set. The mountain is now enveloped in thick red clouds with the back drop of deep blue sky. The words echo again,
“I haven’t found a drop of you.”
Filled with the excitement of seeing such beauty I walk with the intention to see the sun set. Everywhere I turn, there are more concrete trees blocking my view. I keep walking with anticipation, hoping to see the sun. As I turn down each street I see the radiance of the sunset bouncing off the buildings and filling up the sky. My pace quickens as I know that I am running out of time. Again I hear,
“I haven’t found a drop of water”
I am now running as I see the city begin to reveal the horizon. As I reach the end of the street I barely catch the last glimmer of the sun as it falls behind the mountains and city limits.
As I turn back I hear,
“But you specialize in dying
You hear me screaming
And I’m lying here just crying
So wash me with your water”
Here in the half way point of my internship I find myself in middle of Turkey walking the streets at dusk. After a few days of teaching English to Persian refugees I reflect on my time and the time to come here in Turkey.
I find that my walk with God here is much like my pursuit of this sunset. As I follow him, I press forward with great anticipation; awaiting the glorious future of his return. I long to see him in glory, but am constrained to glimmers and reflections.
I see Him in the faces of His children,
The faces of new Persian believers
I see him through the deposit of His spirit,
Those moments where the Spirit speaks and transforms my inner being,
But all of these are just glimmers.
His children cannot fully reflect his glory because of the stain of sin. I cannot fully experience God through the Sprit because of my constant struggle with the flesh. At times I feel that I cannot find Him. I feel like I’m in this dessert concrete land where the water is scarce and life is lost. In the midst of a world filled with death I look to my savior who specialized in dying so that I could be washed pure by His living water.
As Paul says, for now I am a simple marred jar of clay holding an all surpassing treasure. (2 Corinthians 4:7) That jar of clay is filled with cracks and blemishes, but it has been given a deposit, a guarantee, a promise of complete restoration, when the potter will return and turn those cracks and blemishes to a jar of pure gold. So we walk by faith, knowing that one day we will see that glorious sunset.
Just as I was motivated by beauty to press forward in hopes of seeing the sunset, I am motivated by the beauty of Christ to long for his return, thirst for His righteousness and to be washed by His water. These reflections that I see on the way are a reminder of that blessed promise.