It’s Sunday. A day of rest. Reflection. A day that has come to be known to my heart as the day that I unpack my week with it’s successes and failures, lay them before the Lord, and ask for His eyes and heart to look forward to what is to come for the next 7 days. I think I am really finally beginning to learn that this day was intended to be a central point for the rest of life. Intentionality. Solitude. Silence. Diligence. Seeking of His direction and having a date to check in with His heart. Precious time.
It just so happens that this particular Sunday is spent on the other side of that stamp I wrote about just a week and a day ago. My heart is running miles alongside this airplane yet again and I get another stamp today. Another departure. Another re-entry to “home.” Home as foreign as that now sounds – as though one place could really house my heart any more than the other at this point. I have learned that home is more a space in my own heart now than it ever will be able to be a physical location again. There’s just no going back to a place where that makes any sense. My heart has been remodeled and it’s address no longer fits in either space completely.
A funny thing that concept of “home.” One country in a sense birthed my “body” and it feels as though the other sorta birthed my “soul.” While that’s not exactly true – I gave my life to Jesus before I knew Honduras, I found the hills I would die on within the dirt and dust of that country. My “come alive” happened while looking into poverty and injustice and knowing that the heart of Christ toward both pounded within my own chest. And so it’s absolutely no surprise that as I reflect on another week spent there I have plenty to “unpack” on this Sunday.
Words sorta fail in every single one of these spaces, and I ask for them often as they would be so incredibly beneficial to attempt to explain to others what transpires between the maker and keeper of your soul in between the stamps. Some things do indeed remain sacred however, because there really just aren’t words to touch it all. I think that is how we know that sacred has happened – when we can neither explain nor mar it with our vocabulary.
That being said, may I attempt to just share for a moment the view from above the clouds. Pun intended. At 38,000 feet in the air, I am desperate to look at this week from a “live above” sort of view. (As a sidenote: The “live above” concept comes from one of my very favorite memories of my years spent in Honduras. Momma Grose, one of my spiritual mentors, would always hug me and whisper into my ear before we separated to live in different countries … “Be bold and courageous honey and LIVE ABOVE.” Some days I think I succeeded and some days I failed miserably at living above what my eyes and circumstances could see, but the mantra is beautiful and I want to choose to live in that space)
If I looked through my human eyes and an earthly perspective back through this week, there are still an abundance of failures. Injustice. Poverty. Little boys being beaten up. People still hungry no matter how much food we handed out. My own pride. My own weakness. Desperation. Discouragement. Insecurity. Fear. There are also plenty of successes that I think we could make a list of – things we did well. What a precious group of folks who loved so well. We had an amazing team of young people on fire for the Lord and His people and what He is doing in the world. Houses built. Food distributed. Bellies filled. Hearts wrapped up. Children prayed over. A list of plenty of “do goods” as well.
I wonder if the view above the clouds looks a bit different though – if maybe up here it’s not what you did well or didn’t. If I can pull my heart up here and attempt to view just this week through the lens of a “live above” mentality, I can’t just sum this all up to a list of successes and failures – neither my own or anyone else’s. I can’t just chart the plan and the agenda and assume that we either made it or missed it and let that be the gauge. The barometer shifts up here. The expectations are really just to lose your life in Jesus up here. There is absolute approval up here in your position in Christ alone. All of Heaven is applauding love being extended up here. All that’s cloudy down there becomes more clear from this angle. Maybe from the view up here I can reclaim a few things that I know for sure…
I am the beloved despite of my own definitions of “success” or “failure.”
This planet is messy.
Messy needs a Messiah.
I know and love Him.
I am in the process of being redeemed by Him.
So is this planet.
There is a kingdom.
Meaning there is a King.
He is the prize.
His heart stoops low and loves well.
Mine deeply wants to do the same.
And so although my heart is full of tension between a broken planet and a gracious God – (and maybe all the more because my heart is full of the tension of all of that) – I continue the search for a place with a view that can provide correct perspective as I sort through and unpack the memories from this week. That seems easier up here with a beautiful picture out my window, beckoning my heart toward the truth it resembles.
But, when my feet touch down and the literal view is not of the clouds, my heart prays for a way to continue to remember that what these eyes have seen and the ache this heart feels – is not the sum total of my mission or the God that I serve. We are living in the already and the not yet and the tension will remain and that won’t change until He returns for His bride.
I can not see the end of the stories that He is writing in the lives of those that I love. I have no real idea what is born in an impoverished life that depends completely on God’s provision. Suffering has a way of refining. I don’t know what might be being built in the hearts of some little boys who will know what it’s like to suffer at the hands of people who were supposed to love and protect you and what may come out of that. Warriors are sometimes formed in spaces like those. Those words hurt to write … I hate those words if I’m honest … yet I know that they’re true. I can’t possibly know what is being born within my own soul as I wrestle through hard spaces and my own humanity and wanting to control the outcome because I’m scared to death to leave it in His hands because He doesn’t always do things the way I think He should. Surrender has it’s best chance of freedom in seasons like these.
So I run to the only place on planet earth where I could possibly have “live above” sight in light of all that is reverberating in my heart, and I crawl up into His lap as His daughter and remember that sometimes the very best thing I can do in moments like these is to let the one who offers to be my “Abba” hold me. That’s my plan.
As I think about the highlights between the stamps …
Precious people. Sacred memories. Unity in the body of Christ. A common mission and purpose. His heart exposed yet again for that country. Provision. Favor. Time spent loving with abandon. The gospel lived out. The gift of witnessing God coming near. God literally WITH us.
I will highlight some of the weeks stories in the days to come as I attempt to formulate the words to share them. Thanks for journeying with me and praying for us as we were away.