. . . posts on faith and life
Jon and I are at good place. We are thankful for God’s provision. We are thankful for the family we are able to visit. We are also anxious and excited to continue the work we have in Europe. It is a good place to be thankful, happy, and content, but slightly uncomfortably anticipating our lives waiting for us in Europe. Thank God for placing us here. How horrible it would be if we had no desire, no passion, to return to the work that waits on us! It is this passion and deep contentment that will make saying our goodbyes, when it is time, not as difficult as it could be. Please pray with us that God provides so we are able to get back to our work and do what it is that God has for us in this time in our lives. On the other hand…pray that we continue to have rich and joyful moments with our family here in the US!
Today while visiting “Barn Happy” (see previous post) I accidently overheard the older woman sitting next to us invite a younger woman to church. That perked my interest, and much to my own condemnation, I shamelessly began to eavesdrop. I heard the young woman say: “I just don’t do well understanding things I cannot see.” I held my breath for the older woman’s response. With ease and grace she responded and I heard these words: “God’s spirit comes in and changes you.” I don’t remember much else about conversation. I know I hastily whispered to my mom: “That woman is witnessing next to us.” I surprised myself to find that I was fighting the tears forming in my eyes. I felt the Spirit of God there with us in that small country store in the middle of Iowa. I was refreshed by that presence. I was also challenged knowing that in my own paralyzing need to be theologically correct I would have likely fumbled such a direct inquiry about my Lord. Yes, my eavesdropping did me good. I learned something about witnessing and evangelizing today.
I looked around and saw a room full of white, middle class Iowa bred women. The young woman asking questions about God was Asian and spoke with an accent. I heard her mention the university. I don’t know if she is only in the country for school or if she is a citizen. That was not really an issue for me. What struck me was this: the harvest is ripe and it is all around us…ALL of us.
Some of us are called to live in Iowa. Some of us are making our lives in Fresno, California. Some of us carry out our gifts in the South…whether that be southern Mississippi or South America or South Africa. According to our history, our family situations, our giftings, our passions…we find ourselves in various circumstances. We are all called and we are all sent.
In one of my seminary classes we read a book called Live To Tell by Brad J. Kallenberg. The premise of the book challenges the reader to “live to tell”. He challenges the reader to be missionaries in their context: to live amongst the people as a follower of Christ and in that common, but starkly different “living” much “telling” takes place. Because you see, when a follower of Christ walks in the Spirit, the common is made holy. Taking out the trash, checking the mail, showing up to work faithfully…all of these common things become sanctified and significant. Our faith lived out consistently in a world that is fragmented tells a great deal of the Love and Truth that we carry in our hearts.
Live to tell and may what is common be holy today.