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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Comiskey

Rebuilders

‘Is it a time for you to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains in ruins? Go…and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored’ (Haggai 1:4, 8).

 

Building the house requires workers. In our goal to create a house suitable for the sexual integration of its members, we need a team, an army, a village of workers! Broken ones need boundaries, a compassionate ‘wall’ of witnesses who surround them and mediate grace with faces, spirited flesh that speaks a better Word.

 

These are ground soldiers who fight for fellows losing hope in mercy and vision of the good gifts they want to be for others.

 

Yet workers too grow weary. ‘The strength of the laborers gave out’ (Neh. 4:10); the prophet knew well how rebuilding boundaries takes a toll. But God gives strength by re-envisioning us, just when we need it most.


Last week on a freezing dark morning in Paris, I turned a corner while running and ran smack dab into Notre Dame, France’s icon for the faithful. She cheered me on, the Church ‘struck down but not destroyed,’ her original dignity intact and manifesting again through many rebuilders.

 

I was in Paris to cheer and guide the French national Living Waters team (Torrents de Vie) which was transitioning rebuilders. Five years ago, my best international friends Werner and Charlotte passed the baton to Claude and Monique—an ace couple—and we had issues to work out together. Gentle disclosure of misunderstandings cleared the way for other leaders to look ahead with us to the hard way.

 

French media and politics have converged against Torrents de Vie to block ‘rebuilding’ efforts. Councils and magistrates contest them; yellow journalists disguised as ‘seekers’ have mocked them relentlessly. These rebuilders grow weary of insisting on freedom of choice for Christians seeking chastity in their sexual identities. A new Pharisaism prevails in France that demands the government’s way for sexual identity or no way at all. So much for ‘liberte, egalite, and fraternite.’

 

I am reminded of Nehemiah’s workers who had to fight to rebuild—staving off foes while staying faithful to the task of restoration. In one hand, the workers brandish swords; in the other, they wield healing tools that clean and bind up breaks (Neh. 4:17). The French have fought this fight better than anyone else. They do so to stay true to Jesus and His call to create safe, clean houses in France.  

 

They have my deepest respect. I am privileged to serve them. Mirrored in their changes are mine. At 66-years-old, I can still pound the old streets but feel the stones more acutely under my Nikes. I work harder to surrender the stress of prophetic insistence and pastoral service. I sleep less, pray more. Fear knocks louder as the Day draws closer.

 

No complaints. As Notre Dame emerges from the fire, so shall we. We do our part. And I am set at ease by rebuilders Marco and Abbey and Katie who wield tools of rebuilding—weapons of grace and truth to rebuild the house. France and her leadership transition reminds me: I am only one rebuilder, one runner in a very long relay.  

 

‘Don’t be afraid. Remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your daughters and sons, your wives and your homes’ (Neh. 4:14).  


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