Brick by Brick

Brick by Brick

Brick by Brick.

God has laid a lot on my heart this trip. Particularly, I’m struck how He uses ordinary people to accomplish impossible things.

Addis is a sprawling and chaotic metropolis of grey half-finished concrete skeletons stretching for miles. Seemingly everything is built of concrete using cheap labor and what would take months to build in America literally takes years here. The work schedules, or what passes for them, don’t align with what we would call “normal”. Nonetheless skyscrapers rise cinderblock by cinderblock with concrete buckets hand carried up ramps built of eucalyptus poles. Men hang off wooden scaffolding built of sticks nailed together 15 stories in the air hand troweling mortar over walls of blocks carried by others up those same ramps. OSHA and labor unions haven’t made their way to Addis Ababa. But, still, remarkable buildings take shape through sheer determination and years of effort.

In an odd way this scene makes me think how lives are transformed. God’s timing is His alone, not ours. Sometimes He works quickly and other times he works over years or lifetimes, but, he is always working to fulfill his perfect plans – if only we would listen. Gentle pressure relentlessly applied moves mountains and changes lives.

God, help me to never give up, help me look for opportunities to build others up, opportunities to affirm and to use whatever I’m given to show your love no matter how daunting the task.

So next time I visit, some buildings will be starting, some will be finished and some will not have changed. Just like all of us.

– Chuck

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