Because there’s no reason not to. Because we’ve got unsettled feelings. Because all we’ve ever done is stay & walk in single file line & we’re suddenly filled with a curiosity that has invaded even our lightest sleeps. Because all we’ve ever done is stay, & we don’t know how to stay anymore.
Sometimes we go because we need to know. It’s not that we even know what we’re missing, but we just know this place is overcrowded & it’s getting awful stuffy.
I just want to be somebody that knows.
Someone who sees those faces that match the catalog of names flooding that Compassion International website. People bigger than those Instagram photos, whose lives behold more than those laughing milliseconds that are caught & released so that we in our coffee shops can feel okay.
I want my hands to touch that soil. My arms to feel their weight. I want my heart to sputter those soft thuds when the other one’s are spoken of, when someone speaks of real problems that can’t be glued, only loved on.
I want to be somebody that knows, speaking of the silent. I want to rain on all who are contents parade. I want to. I want to weigh you down. Because maybe for a second, your eyes will lift beyond your neighborhood gossip. Maybe you’re heart will be sunk into the depths of the oceans, anchored to these people whose homes don’t have walls, whose children sleep under their beds for safety, whose daily decisions boil down to which child will eat. & maybe, just maybe, something will break. Maybe you’ll be the one. Maybe you’ll be moved. Maybe you’re the one we need.
I want to apologize to them, for being birthed into a soft spot in the muddied earth.
I want something to remember. Something to miss. Something to ache about, shaken to the core at my findings.
Jesus preached that the pure in heart will see God. I want to know what that’s like in a place with fewer distractions, nothing to coddle my heart. No fancy clothes & make up & decked out churches with top notch worship teams. I want to meet Jesus in the face of a stranger who has nothing but has joy overflowing. I want to meet him where breaths are uneasy & the Name is unfamiliar to the tongue. I want to be carried by Jesus. Sweet, sweet Jesus.
Once I was found out, having been accused of having selfish motives. & it’s so true. Because I want God to move me in a way that’s ridiculously unforgettable. I want to be stripped of my comfort, fully reliant on Jesus to continuously provide each moment. I don’t expect fireworks & beautiful things & great food. I expect reality & beautiful moments & beautiful people, with nothing to camouflage, nothing to tuck them away.
Lord, do I want to know. Because ignorance is a bliss that can’t save. No surface. No white washed. I want real. Penetrable. Tangible. Deep.
I want to know.
& so sometimes you go.
Scared senseless, yet comforted by the God who’s there, too. Veiled, yes. But just as there as He is here.
So when wedding receptions with assigned seats bring about obligation to conversation in the midst of your own personal grey days, we see God extending His hands into the details. Because this three hour celebration doesn’t stand as an interruption in every guest’s day. No. There is something in this moment for me, too. This is His wedding. These are His seating arrangements.
This is your day, too.
My mind was broken, yelping like an anxious pup, begging me to ask the pastor of my youth about his latest passion in the missions field. Ask him when he’s going next.
But as the grey day had hung unqualified words over my chair, there was no way I would be bringing that up.
The battle raged on for about a half hour, & eventually The Lord refuted my heck to the no with a that’s okay because I won’t drop it, & he stood up & turned to another more obedient servant to carry out the deed.
& so the pastor’s wife seated between the two of us turns to me.
“So are you still thinking missions?”
I raised my white flag, pushing out the question I had been neglecting, turning to him & asking if he had any intention on a trip in the near future, followed by an I’m coming with you.
To be honest, those words were just as big a surprise to me as I’m sure they were to him, as the confidence I had spoken in were internally the question Lord, really?
I still wasn’t a hundred percent in when I was leaving the reception, as my mind was flooded with the fears I would have to potentially face. Snakes. Insects the size of snakes. Unclothed people. (Not saying that I believed that the whole society would be some nude colony in which no one could afford clothing. It’s just I’ve seen some children lacking full covering taken by some missionaries.) & obviously I would have to share my testimony that I have always tucked away on the shelf. Which the whole offending people thing has always kept me silent, if I’m to be 100% a terrible Christian honest. If they’re in a storm or searching for God, I’ll speak. But to go up to a stranger who sees nothing lacking in their life, I’ll wait for you. I give you full permission to judge me here, because I recognize how wrong I’ve been, & I tell you this to give you the full view of what I’m getting myself into.
But when he emailed me about a trip in February to Kajo Keji in South Sudan, & I did research & saw images of this unfamiliar territory, God overwhelmed my heart with a compassion & flooded every fear. & as uncomfortable as I am with asking people for money, when the first person I told about the trip’s direct response was that they wanted to help sponsor me, I realized that the God of comfort would provide & the go by faith thing was my only option. This is my God, filling in the cracks, piecing together adventure, & holding my right hand. This is him in the unknown, saying if you’ll embrace the courage to let go of this railing, you’ll see I am beyond your borders, too.
& so the story goes, & I’m learning faith & trust without border.