Friday, October 28, 2011

The beauty of paradise and the filthiness of sin. . .

Though often disguised in pleasure, prosperity, and "prettiness", sin is outright filthy.  There is nothing beautiful about it. It is sin that sent Christ to the cross. In a 3 hour period today I experienced both the wonder and beauty of God's mysterious creation, and the ugly, make-you-feel-sick nature of sin. 

I had the opportunity to hike up to Whangarei Falls today with a friend.  (I was kicking myself that I didn't bring my camera, but I'll go again soon and post some photos for you! The photo to the left is an old one.)  The one hour hike just to get there was completely worth it- massive roaring falls cascading down into a huge green lagoon surrounded by lush rain forest and everything pure "New Zealand".  It was as if we had stepped into a corner of heaven. (Not that heaven has corners, but I think you know what I mean. he he!) The streams fed by the falls lead us to numerous swimming holes with make-shift rope swings and ample places to splash and play. We even waded in the frigid water to sooth our aching knees and feet.  It was truly incredible. .. and I will go again soon and give you photos!

Neighbor's wisteria- gorgeous

With memories of paradise fresh in my mind, we made the trek back home. On our walk back through the streets of Whangarei I was deeply troubled by two things.  We stopped in to say hello to one of her nephews, who greeted us at the door very clearly "high" on who knows what, with an additional cigarette in hand and liquor bottle not far away.  There were three small children roaming around outside half-clothed, completely unaware of the situation they were truly in. This relative is only 19-20yrs old and his young girlfriend was there to accompany him and the children. Ugh. . stomach ache #1.

Then, within minutes we came across a group of teenagers standing outside a house chanting at each other, taunting their friends to "booze" with them, chugging alcohol through a hose and funnel contraption.  It took everything within me not to go right up to them and stand in the middle to keep them from continuing.  (Maybe I should have!)  Ugh.  Stomach ache #2.

Unfortunately, what I experienced today is not uncommon in our neck of the woods.  So many hurting people deceived into thinking that reality = alcohol, drugs, smoking, and sex.  The filthiness of sin- I hate it!  Please pray that we who are children of the King would be a bright beacon of hope and light here in Whangarei, exposing the ugly nature of sin and inviting people into real life with Christ.

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