Here aboard the Africa Mercy, there are many Godly people. Brothers and sisters who love one another with a reckless abandonment that I have not seen before. They don’t know each others full story, but still the love flows out like a flood. I have only seen this type of love, this bond of brotherhood and family, once before: In the dorms of a college campus with the Cockins Family.
(side story: The official story of how the name came about may be slightly different, but I wasn’t there when it happened, this is how I was told of its coming into existence. In the guys dorm, some of the guys convinced a number of freshmen that Josh’s last name was Cockins, though it wasn’t. Somehow, this name stuck, and the community of guys in this said dorm have become a family of itself, aptly named the Cockins Family. End of story.)
So many times I have heard groups of men, brothers in Christ, tell eachother that they want to fight for one another. To hold eachother accountable. To draw close and stand shoulder to shoulder in the lines of battle.
We tell eachother our stories, of how we ‘became saved’ and are now redeemed. We talk of our struggles and how we want to be freed of these addictions and chains. We discuss spiritual warfare, and with a light hearted laugh we tell one another that God is more powerful than anything we will ever face.
So many times, I see people starting to sharpen their swords for battle, only to face their problems, their Goliaths, and then turn away. We sharpen one another, as iron sharpens iron, but yet we dont know how to fight for one another. We are scared to tell people our problems, our addictions. We think that they will view us different because we are not living the pure life, though we call ourselves Christians. Followers of Christ.
Here on ship, I see it so often in the short term crew (myself included). We tell ourselves that we are not here long enough to pour our lives into others. We tell ourselves that others will see us in a different light when we pour ourselves out. We are afraid to fight for one another, because we are afraid that the other people in our small group, community, or circle of friends will not be willing to watch our back once they realize who we really are.
We have sharpened our swords, but they have yet to see battle.
There are people that I know who actively fight for one another. Men and women who hold one another accountable to thier sins and in their lives. There are great examples of Christian warriors all around us. I’ve seen them in churches. I’ve seen them in communities. I’ve been fortunate to see them amidst the college campus, in dorm rooms, in leadership positions, and in the Cockins Family.
There are people fighting for one another. Let us pick up our swords and join them as we learn to fight for one another.
God Bless and PEACE