One simple word that flings wide the door for impossibility to give way to the familiar.
Yes to scary.
Yes to adventure.
Yes to the backseat (and the occasional carsickness.)
Yes to whatever it is that allows God to be God and me to be at rest in His sufficiency.
In the last six months, this word gave my life wings and carried me from the comfy confines of life in America with my lucrative job, dependable car and my first safe house into the dense, tropical wonder of Central America. Into a world of addicts, sexual exploitation, religious cover-ups and a culture built on trauma. It is as if i stepped back into a scene from my own childhood, but with some spicy Creole-Mennonite flavoring mixed in.
It’s been thrilling. But also a bit… anticlimactic. I honestly thought ministry had a little more sparkle woven in. Let me rephrase that. I honestly thought me “doing” something called ministry would make me a little more sparkley. Laugh, it’s alright. Rookie move, I know. Unfortunately, the only thing sparkling these last months is the mercy of God and the dear, exceedingly patient saints that have stuck close through the fire.
If you ask me what working with addicts and survivors is like I would probably sum it up as a glorious mess. The pearls come when you least expect them. Really only the 2% of the lives we touch mean business; the rest will probably “return to their vomit” as soon as they get the chance.
But love is never wasted.
God sees and measures the sands of life with a different scale. Is love given freely, without strings, or do I expect something in return? Do I need spiritual “fruit” to validate my existence and service? Or am I really going to hand the next addict in front of me the power to define my worth by basing my success on their response? No ma’am, not again. Been there. Done that.
But each day I feel this question search me, weigh me out - Does my Father see Jesus in me, through me, coming out from me? Often I find I have too much skin in the game - too much flesh infused in my service. I shuffle the pages of my Bible back to 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and ask - Have I been patient, kind and lowly? Am I easily provoked or am I bearing all things, enduring all things?
Uh, not exactly. Each entitled, mocking, religious, jealous and ungrateful response still sets my hair on end. Every haunting, predatory, rage-filled look makes me want to tuck tail and run back… but back to what? Back to self on the throne? Back to unbelief and the monotony of having all my needs met? No. I lean back into the “Yes,” the yes of Jesus to the Father. And rest. And I remember that He prepares a table before us in the presence of our enemies. Why? Because His kindness has lead each of us to repentance, and just maybe, even our enemies will find the invitation hidden within the moment. While there is breath, there is hope.
Dear friend, will you give Him your “Yes” and let Him give your life wings? Perhaps He will move you physically or maybe He will move those mountains in front of you. Either way, His fathering is worth the risk, worth the adventure. If not, what else is there?
If you would like to follow along the journey, click here.