Charles de Foucauld was an early missionary to the Muslim Tuareg of North Africa. During a time when missions was often closely connected to military colonization Foucauld heard a different call from his Lord. He heard Christ's call to simply be among the Tuareg constantly praying for them and humbly serving them. He answered this call with complete abandon. Like the psalmist Foucauld “calmed and quieted himself like a little weaned child with its mother” as he served in the midst of ever-present danger.
This morning the Spirit spoke to me through one of the closing phrases of Foucauld’s Prayer of Abandonment, “… to surrender myself into Your hands, without reserve, and with boundless confidence.” Foucauld served the hostile Tuareg people, not with doubt and fear, but with boundless confidence that his Lord was in control. With boundless confidence that the Lord’s will for him and the Tuareg, whatever that will might be, was best.
Now, 100 years later, our 24/7 news channels keep us well aware that our world is no less hostile to Christ's message. But, our Lord is still calling us to abandon ourselves to His service like Brother Foucauld, not in doubt and fear, but with boundless confidence in His love for us and for our neighbor. Jesus teaches us to humble ourselves, becoming like a little child who, though intimidated by the wild world around him, abandons himself completely to his father's will.
Lord, in our work to free those trapped in systems of spiritual darkness, poverty, and injustice let us not turn away from your truth because we fear suffering. Give us grace to live faithfully whatever the cost. Give us grace to serve with boundless confidence.