Evensong at Westminster Abbey

September 25, 2017 at 6:00 AM

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One of the programs to come out of Dr. Peter Boelens' trips to Africa was the inception of the Luke Society Uganda.   (File photo) 

Evensong at Westminster Abbey

By Dr. Peter Boelens

(The following is an except from “My Heart I Offer – Daily reflections on the Journey of Faith” written by Calvin College alumni and friends. Dr. Peter Boelens was a 1957 graduate of Calvin.)

I was on my way back from my first visit to Africa – a visit which had begun with a whole succession of events that seemed to militate against my every getting there.

The flight was supposed to have gone directly from Atlanta to London and then on to Uganda, where I was to meet a physician interested in starting a community health project.

The plane was late leaving Atlanta. Then, a woman passenger suffered a stroke that necessitated some backtracking to Boston. My flight from London to Uganda had been canceled, and the next one wasn’t schedule until the following week.

I lost all hope of meeting my contacts, and with Uganda in the middle of guerilla warefare, my anxiety level began to rise at the thought of carrying on on my own.

Miraculously, God provided the way for me to connect with several Ugandans who were risking their lives working in the slums of Kisenyi, and the community health project launched.

Now, I was physically a long way from Africa in Westminster Abbey, almost breathless at the beauty of the cathedral. Still dressed in my dirty African clothes, I had arrived just in time for evensong. The music of the organ and the pure voices of the boys choir made me feel like I was sitting in heaven. I had only recently left one of the cesspools of the world, full of suffering and heartache and killing. Why, I wondered, couldn’t all of life be perfect beauty like this?

Then, suddenly, as though I might get too enraptured by these comfortable pews and this glorious religious experience, the thought of Jesus came to my mind: From the majesties of heaven, he had come to earth for our redemption (Phil: 2:8).

Instinctively, I knew at that moment that he wanted me, too, to leave comfort behind and head into the dirty parts of the world to provide the touch of his love to the hurting and hopeless. It was fine for me to take refreshment like this from time to time, but Jesus didn’t want me to stay in this wonderful environment.

How is Jesus guiding your life? Could he be calling you to move out of your comfortable lifestyle to touch with love the hurting and the hopeless in the developing world or even in your very own community.

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