Catching Breath

Suitcases are unpacked. Laundry is done. Dust bunnies have been collected. I have returned to routine with time to gather notes and thoughts and pictures. What do I see?

Fear flourishes. – As I flip through cards and notes, I recall conversations well beyond my usual. Szabina from Hungary and Nora from Palestine who live much too close to war. Josh and our discussion of his Master’s thesis. Marelis from Cuba, Cheryl from South Africa and Lydia from Zimbabwe who would welcome my visit. Ann whose volunteer work with Global Ministries thinks about mission opportunities for other “mature” volunteers. Lindo from South Africa who gave me instruction in Flipagram. Aidong, from China and the book she co-authored with Xialoing about Dr. Albert Shelton in Tibet. Ery and her work in Thailand. Tamara who fueled our discussions on moral injury. Brenda from Detroit and the possibilities of on-line workshops. What does God have in mind as he takes our personal angst and creates God fearing women and men to move into the future?

It is hard to handle crisis when I’m away from home. – Unsettling news is always difficult, but while away from home, I found it nearly impossible to remain focused. Centered in God’s unlimited ability, I discovered the wisdom and comfort of those who were my companions. Prayers are being answered.

Planning does not always provide adequate preparation. – My father warned me as a child not to put too many “irons in the fire.” I’ve had friends counsel me on the virtue of saying, “no”. Sometimes the choice is to “go with flow” only to find you’re way “out of your league.” There is an overwhelming grace in not being able to plan everything – and to find God’s help in the asking.

Silence does not always equal solitude. – Listening is hard. Answers are not always forthcoming as the mind wrestles in the quiet of a hotel room or a solitary drive. Practicing the disciplines tires us out. Exhaustion can cause us to acquiesce. And in the release, to accept God’s promises.