Embarrassed by the Unexplainable

Are you stuck in a place where all you expect to do, where all you expect Yahweh to do, is what can be easily explained? Where what is expected is what seems possible under normal circumstances?

Sometimes that is exactly what we should be expecting. Much of the time, though, I think that we should be expecting the impossible. We should frequently expect things to happen that cannot be explained.

In 1956, several missionaries were killed by Huaorani warriors in Ecuador when they went to evangelize them. One of the martyrs was Nate Saint. One of the warriors was Mincayani. Two years later, Nate’s wife and children and a couple more missionaries successfully moved into the village of the Huaroani tribe, leading them to Christ. Mincayani, because he had killed Nate, felt responsible for becoming a father to Nate’s children, and developed a strong relationship with Nate’s son Stevie.

Stevie brought Mincayani to the US beginning in 1997. He was impressed that when Stevie went to a grocery store, the people gave him whatever he wanted. When they went to a restaurant with a drive through window, Mincayani described the scene to his wife back in Ecuador: “The people hand you all the food you want through a window, and they don’t even make you trade anything for it!”

Stevie tried to correct him by pointing out that he had paid for it by giving them his credit card. “Yes- but they just give it back to you!” was Mincayani’s response. We typically have just as little understanding of transactions and activities in the Kingdom. Mincayani lived in the remote jungle of Ecuador for over 60 years before Stevie Saint put him in a plane and brought him to the US. He had no frame to put that new picture in.

We have the writings of both Old and New Testaments to use as frames for what to expect. We should be able to grasp more than we do. We shouldn’t be embarrassed by not being able to explain why our God does some things and doesn’t do some others. We should be in a dialog with Him that teaches us His ways.

(See the 2004 film Beyond the Gates of Splendor and 2006 End of the Spear for details of the story about the missionaries and the Huaoani tribe, and encouragement about viewing a bigger picture of the Kingdom of God.)