- A high school friend died this week. He's the first of my generation to pass away, and it was a fast, unexpected death from an infection. He also happens to be our boss's son and co-worker's brother, so although I haven't seen him since high school, I have gotten all caught up on his life over the last year of being here. I grieve for our co-workers at the loss of a son and brother far too young. I also just grieve for my friend. There have been plenty of tears. It's an odd thing, being from a "small town" overseas expatriate community. We scatter across the world and sometimes don't stay in touch, but oh, those people are like family, and when you lose one it hurts. How can you express to people you haven't seen or talked to in years how much they matter to you, no matter how much you've all changed and how much time has passed?
- We leave for the USA this week. We're having this baby and going to a wedding, but in between we'll be mostly with family and doing lots of medical stuff. Oh how I long, long for good family time and connection. I currently kind of hate skype. I am thankful for the chance to see faces, but when skyping with bad sound and crowds of people including demanding children, it's basically useless in terms of actual connection. To simply sit with and BE together? That is what I am most excited about. My kids, being totally unpredictable with being shy and reserved sometimes and other times not at all, may or may not connect with family. I reeeeeally hope they open up, but don't want to pressure them.
- Other reasons we are excited? Food, lets be honest. American fruits and veges, fully stocked grocery stores, cheese, multi-grain bread, restaurants from around the world... yep. And probably mostly not cooking everything from scratch myself. Isaac is also extremely, unreasonably excited about going to see movies and downloading TV shows. Especially the new Star Wars we haven't seen yet. I am ambivalent, except that going to see movies while being around family means we're going on a DATE! Sans kids!!! That has happened once in the last year. So. Excited.
- On the other hand, it's not at all like we're going home. That whole TCK thing, you know. We are going to see family, we are going to the comforts of the US, but it doesn't feel like we're going home. We're also a bit sad to leave at this point, to disrupt the continuing adjustment process for our kids, our language learning, our finding our place in the community. Returning will be worlds better than starting new for the first time, but it is a bit of a shame to leave at this point. I'm so glad it's just for a few months, part of which is summer break at our school here anyways.
- Sarah Bessey wrote a post titled "Rice Krispies" that I love.
All of a sudden, I was flooded with conviction under the kitchen table. It’s true: I believed I was good or too whatever to live my own ordinary life. I thought God was only “out there” – in the important work of the Kingdom which I had somehow come to believe was only visible or important or famous or set-apart. I had divided us into a system of castes – the full-time vocational ministry people who pastored or wrote books or preached or taught with eponymous organizations called “My Own Name Ministries” and missionaries and countercultural ones in tropical climates were at the tippity-top. The rest of us simply were pew-fodder, financiers for the “real” work of the ministry.
Which of us when presented with “ordinary” vs. “radical” wouldn’t choose the latter? Wouldn’t choose wanting to be special and different?
Why would I link to that, given the heavy criticism of the field I am actually in? Because I agree with it. Go read it. I agree with all she says. I believe, as she says, that God loves the world. And sometimes everyday discipleship results in work around the world, as we are doing. I believe it is good for the church in one part of the world to support work in other parts of the world. So, here
we are. However, I wish to do away with the over-glorification and adventurism and emphasis on changing the world. It is something I battle regularly. What does it mean to be bold and visionary as well as simply be faithful and obedient in the big and small?