. . . posts on faith and life
One day our interns said their “goodbye’s”, and almost the next day I said my “hello’s” to Jennifer Rosario, a recent college graduate visiting Prague for the second time. In and out. Out and in. My father-in-law one time impressed upon me the image of the church as a functioning Body of Christ. Well, certainly this is no new image to me! Biblically speaking, it is old news. However, in this case he described the action of breathing. The body is not just objects of arms, eyes, ears, legs…it is a functioning body that is ALIVE. It is full of organs that bring it life. Breathing is a vital, involuntary action of a body that is alive. The lungs are a vital organ. Functions of the body use many members to acheive their end. In a body that is alive there is breathing in and there is breathing out. In and out. So I am not referring to our favorite California native fast food chain, my dear west coast friends. I am referring to what I witness so dramatically in this small family, this small body of Christ in Prague, the Czech Republic. There is constant breathing in and breathing out. In and out. Sending and receiving. Maybe it is because of the size of our fellowship here, but this vital action impresses on me and my life, on my family in significant, joyful, and sometimes painful ways. To be sure, places such as my hometown, Cleveland, Tennessee, have their own many and varied, breathings in and out. It is a place where people of all sorts, including missionaries, come in and out on a continuous basis, but somewhere in the size of the family the involuntary action of breathing is not noticed as much. To be sure, some of my friends or acquaintances will see me on my return to the motherland and say: “Weren’t you going somewhere? I thought you were moving to Czechoslovakia or somthing like that.” I know because I have been one of those friends!
But here in this small family we have developed over the past year…here where, as Dr. Daniela Augustine so poignantly described in our intern commencement address: “We have been grafted into each other’s spiritual DNA”…the in’s and out’s are noticed. They are celebrated. They are mourned. Both celebration and mourning happens with every in and out, with every coming and going, with every inhale and exhale. And in four days as we fly back to our home country for our “domestic business” and much family visiting (hooray!) we will continue to be blessed to be a part of that vital function of the Body.