It never fails. A day or two into a blogger trip that e-mail arrives in a blogger’s inbox.
It calls motives into question: You just want everyone to think you’re so perfect.
It plucks scripture out of context and refashions it as a weapon: Jesus said we’ll always have the poor.
It belittles: You’re just a tourist taking pictures of poor people like they’re animals in a zoo.
It waters worries: I’m glad you’re there and not me. No way! It’s too dangerous. I couldn’t do it.
It creates anxieties: What if something happens to you? What about your children?
It makes accusations: You’re just thinking about yourself. Your family is suffering back home so you can take a vacation??
When that e-mail arrived in Angie‘s inbox I got mad. She wasn’t taking it seriously. She laughed it off. But I got mad. Not only do I consider Angie a friend now – and you best not mess with my friends – but I have a theory about what these e-mails really are.
There’s a little known story in the Old Testament about a priest named Joshua and a prophet named Zechariah that e-mails like these bring to mind. One day Zechariah is given the ability to see the unseen. He sees Joshua the priest standing in conversation with God. But Joshua and God aren’t the only ones in the room. Beside Joshua – on his right side – stands Satan speaking into Joshua’s ear.
Into Joshua’s mind is coming truth from God and lies from Satan. More specifically, Satan is accusing Joshua. The word used for Satan in Zechariah 3:1 means accuser.
Why accuse Joshua? Maybe because Satan knew what Joshua was standing there for. He was standing there to hear an important message from God. And whenever a message of importance is coming in from God, Satan, I think, likes to mix a little untruth with it, a little fear and reservation, a whisper of accusation and confusion.
I like Angie a lot. No one has ever made me laugh so hard – most of the time at myself. No one has captured better with words the power and purpose of what Compassion is doing in the lives of children. No one has ever made me feel more guilty about going to sleep before they did!
I like her a lot. But I’m not claiming she’s some sort of priest. What I am sure of is that God wanted to speak to her and through her last week in India – and that goes for the rest of us too – even those of you who read our words every day from the other side of the world. What we did last week was receive and send an important message from God: God so loves the world.
So the Accuser sent some e-mails.
That’s one theory.
Another theory is that some people are just mean and stupid.
You take your pick.