“Beauty Will Rise”
“Out of these ashes… beauty will rise and we will dance among the ruins We will see Him with our own eyes.
Out of these ashes… beauty will rise. For we know, joy is coming in the morning… in the morning, beauty will rise.” Words by Steven Curtis Chapman
This is a theme that seemed to run vividly through my mind and my eyes as I walked among the streets of N. Africa over Christmas Break. You see it wasn’t but a few moments after checking into our hotel in the somewhat deserted coastal town along the Mediterranean Sea (a summertime tourist spot) that I found myself standing among a trash heap – home to the G-people. The landscape of mosques and beach houses turned into a very barren and deserted land lined with tarp-framed tents. Livestock was seen rummaging through the muck and mire of the trash as if to find something to eat.
As we walked into this very scarce area of town, I began to understand a bit more about who these people are and why they find themselves in this sort of plight of life. The G-people, merely by name, carry with them a very unruly social class – abandoned, dirty and outcast. Often finding themselves on the bottom rung of the ladder in the social class of this particular country of N. Africa, they themselves do not want to be associated with their own culture and background, referring to themselves as anything but G’s. Hence, because of their social status, they find themselves living among the ashes of filth. Many do not even own a passport or have an identity, and even if they did they would still remain nameless among those well off.
G’s are a nomadic people roaming from town to town and village to village, not knowing where they came from or where they are going. Because of this they are very hard to find in many towns, but they are there. It is as if in God’s economy and seeing His heart for the nations that we are digging for a diamond in the rough or a treasure that will last. It is this treasure that we carried with us to N. Africa to display the Gospel message among the G’s.
The words of Paul in Philippians 3:7-8 rang true while walking among the livelihood of the G-people. “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ . . . ” The G’s, according to this country’s standards, much less the world’s, have very little to offer. In fact, they have lost it all in the world’s eyes. But it is our prayer, desire and aim that they may count all things as rubbish and find their identity, home and worth in knowing Christ and being known by Him. May this wandering people be brought from afar to find their rest in Christ.
May the beauty of the Gospel in a God who has called some of them as His very own and a Christ who has purchased their salvation and given them a name rise out of these ashes. I pray with Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:4 that they may see with their own eyes, “the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
Written by Ryan Martin