- Annelise and I both got sick, and at about the same time took the uncharacteristic decision that we needed to go to bed in the middle of the day . . . When I got up I found that (unbeknownst to either of us) her kids had had been dropped off at our house. . . And they had a holy afternoon of great play, allowing both of us to rest and recover, entertaining each other harmoniously. Whenever kids of disparate ages who have spent months apart from each other are able to be happy and independent for three hours, there is a sense of God’s presence.
- Friday, Luke’s birthday, the three friends he had invited did not show up all afternoon, and at nearly 7 pm we had almost finished cooking his “feast” and were searching for ways to soften the blow of disappointment in this season of disappointments for him, when they at last arrived. When my kids can spend a weekend with friends who are 3 to 4 years older, and of a completely different life background, and yet laugh and watch a video and hike through the forest and play cards and read books and eat . . .I sense the holiness of God’s presence with us.
- Also on Friday, Kevin was finally able to share with the CSB staff the Bartkovich family’s plan to leave Bundibugyo after their long service to CSB. Though most probably realized that a trip to the US was in their near future for one of the Home Ministry Assignments (HMAs) we all take, they were appropriately distressed and shocked by the news that he would not return to CSB after this break. I’m thankful that Scott and David could be present to witness that moment, and Annelise and I were able to be together at home praying for Kevin’s words and heart as he spoke. This is a huge turning point for the school, and the team, and a bit more like Jessica’s death in that we glimpse behind the veil here to believe God is present and at work, but the rending of the veil is painful.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Holy moments, slices of our time on earth when we glimpse behind the veil to what is more real. One of those occurred yesterday when I read a comment on the post “But the Kingdom Comes”. Look for it. It is signed “Cindy”, as in Cindy the mother of Jessica, the 21 year old woman who died in a car accident while at our pre-field missionary orientation on her way to join WHM’s Spain team. As a mother she could be bitter, angry, bewildered, hopeless. And if those emotions are part of her grief in this fallen world, then she could find plenty of psalms, laments, and Biblical cries to reflect her protest. But instead she wrote to connect with and encourage us, a holy bond of grief and common cause. I held my breath reading her words, unworthy to be included in her burial-day thoughts. The closest I can come to imagining her loss were three babies of ours dying by miscarriage in 1991 and 1992, starting the month we joined WHM. An unseen baby nearly broke my heart; how much more a 21 year old daughter. So I can only thank this woman for expressing her faith on this blog, and choosing to hold on to God in the midst of her storm. A friend and fellow-missionary in Prague put an excellent book on grief into my hands Lament for a Son by Nicholas Wolterstorff, which I’ve been reading. Whether we infer that there is an Enemy working against the Kingdom by murdering new recruits, or just that following a call from God does not serve as a ticket to a long and easy life untouched by the chaotic evil of illness and injury, Jessica’s death sobers us all. The Kingdom is, once again, confirmed to be serious business. People get hurt. A few other holy moments this week: