"Someone here needs to allow the Lord to bend them." Dr. Anthony Graham had excited a packed tabernacle. "Lord, Bend Me!" he belted with his deep voice. The Holy Spirit spoke to me and I was moved. Those three words have been the cry of my heart since hearing them in July at Fairmount Family Camp. He continued, "If you need to come and say to the Lord 'bend me' then come forward now." I knew the invitation was for me.
So here we are in Uganda where the grocery stores are laid out differently and the shelves are filled with different brands and foods than what I am used to. Here we drive on the opposite side of the road and have different traffic laws. We brush our teeth with bottled water and have to plan an hour ahead to take showers so the water heather can warm. When everything in me wants to complain and say, “I wish they had ____ here or I wish they did it ___ way here, God is helping me to say, “Lord, Bend me.” I am the one who needs to bend, to flex, to adjust my thinking.
When my heart longs to connect with a local Ugandan woman, He invites me out of my comfort zone and bends me enough that I trot up the hill to a local woman selling banana's. In His abundant goodness He gives me a new friend to love. Her name is Elizabeth.
When I want to throw my hands up in the air about not knowing how to use a stove with nobs and buttons I have never seen, I invite Him to come change my attitude and I whisper in exasperation, “Lord, bend me.” He bends and I feel joy as I cook a pot of vegetable soup.
I am here to share the love of Christ with these precious people. I want them to see His joy in me as I wait in crazy traffic, search in the isles of the grocery store and fumble my way through English/Lugadan conversations.
In the process of being bent there are crushing blows like that of a hammer against the anvil and soft sculpting nudges like the potters hands on the clay. When the hammer strikes we have a choice. Will we complain about the pain of the hit or celebrate the shape which we are becoming? When we feel the cultural smash in our bones will we holler "enough!" or will we humble ourselves to say "Yes Lord! Bend me!"? So far, I have found joy in the latter.