Have you ever tried putting the toothpaste back into the tube?
I tried it once in a middle school Bible study. Some of us thought we knew how to get the paste back –squeeze a little of the tube, suck in the paste, shove it to the bottom of the tube and repeat.
It might be practical in theory, but it just didn’t work. It ended up everywhere, a greater mess than anything. It was between our fingers and on our clothes.
Before we knew it, everything was sticky and smelled oddly like mint.
I never put much thought into that experience —trying to put the toothpaste back into the tube. Until now…
I have always known about the persecuted church. I grew up reading The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter. Actually my mom read it; I spent hours fascinated by the photographs. Mom always saved them and put them in a basket next to the couch. If someone grabs something to read, they usually find a VOM newsletter.
I always thought VOM was a great organization with a great mission, but something happened this summer. The persecuted church changed from something I was aware of, into part of my identity. I feel hopeless — but forget the negative connotation. It is more like I’m “hopelessly in love.” I can’t explain how it happened, but I turned into a tube of toothpaste. My spirit pours out a love for my persecuted brothers and sisters. There is no way to put it back in without making a mess.
I pray that you experience this change from awareness to identity — if you haven’t already. This change makes you love someone you may never meet. You desire to care for persecuted Christians and to share their testimonies with others.
Toothpaste has a purpose. It cleans teeth and it freshens breath, thank goodness. My passion and love for persecuted Christians has a reason for too. I will write, I will speak and I will inspire others. My internship at VOM has come to a close, but my support for the persecuted church never will.
“Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body,” Hebrews 13:3