I Stand Accused

Two summers ago, my wife and I went with my department on a trip to San Diego for the Children’s Pastor’s Conference.  The conference was a wash- I hated the whole thing, but time with friends and my wife brought huge redemption to the trip.  I wrestled with a lot during that week- mainly with my identity as a minister to children- and how the world saw my role within it.


On one of the evenings, after the day’s sessions, my friends and I caught the train and headed south to Tijuana.  At the end of the line, the train stopped and we all hopped out- I had seen enough pictures of Southern California and Mexico to not be surprised at the environment, but being there had a different feel.  As I crossed the border, I expected to see children selling bracelets, I expected to speak to people who would reply in broken English, I expected to see prescription pharmaceuticals on the shelf to purchase for affordable prices, I was pretty sure I’d see some Cuban Cigars too.


But when we rounded the final of a long series of concrete staircases and walkways to “officially” enter Mexico, I saw this:

 The Accuser



As I look at this image now, she looks older than I remember, but she still makes me feel like scum.  As I walked around Tijuana, my mind continued to wander back to her face and I felt like apologizing.  I wanted to say “You’re right.  I’m sorry.  I’m everything you’ll ever call me.”


It’s quite possible that this stencil was put up by some kid on a dare- it may have also been a resident who saw one too many entitled Americans.  For me, that doesn’t really matter- God talks to us everyday.  His fingerprints are all over us (and around us).  He’ll use anything if you let Him and it won’t ever stop until his work is completed in you.


What does she say to you?


4 Responses to “I Stand Accused”

  1. 1 seth
    February 26, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    “You need to get your priorities in order! The world doesn’t revolve around you!”
    thanks Tony!

  2. 2 dave powell
    March 11, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    remember when this re-rendered guy used to blog? i know! i can’t either. oh well, it was good while it lasted.

  3. March 17, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    man remember when this re-rendered guy used to blog? i know! i can’t either. oh well, it was good while it lasted.

  4. 4 namesake
    March 20, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    Dave’s right. What the heck happened to you? You fall off the planet? I guess you won’t blog again until I comment on this one, big baby. So, here goes:

    I think she misunderstands me. I think she’s been hurt and disappointed. Life sucks, and the world has lied to her. She’s been told that her troubles are the fault of some great (probably white) homogenous group of faceless people. That may be true. Truth is, though, her troubles are probably more basic than that. Furthermore, I am not a homogenous group of people from America or any other place. I am an individual, weak and wanting, but redeemed and loved. I would ask her for the opportunity to care for her, to comfort the hurt and show compassion. I would tell her that everyone who walks across that bridge and down those stairs is not the same. I would tell her that none of us are saviors, but some of us have no desire to take advantage of her, and some of us come in the name of the savior. Whatever she’s accusing me of, I’m probably guilty, but I’m also forgiven, and redeemed, and my heart of stone has been replaced with a heart of flesh. Therefore, I’m not afraid of her accusation, and I’m coming to offer her love that will melt her heart of stone, as well. I’m coming over that bridge and down those stairs to find her and tell her that she is loved, highly-esteemed, a treasure of greatest value, that her life has meaning, that she doesn’t have to carry the burden and the bitterness, that it’s going to be alright.

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