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Sunday, July 22, 2018

Deeper In

Eugene Peterson writes about the post-resurrection fish-fry Jesus threw for his followers.  History has just pivoted on the point of the entropy's reversal.  Shouldn't His followers be in the Temple?  Or making speeches?  Instead, they are back to their boats, throwing their nets, water and wind and night air and the rhythms of their occupation. Peterson comments on this Gospel, "John shows Jesus getting us deeper into this world than we ever thought possible, not getting us out of it."  The resurrection life is not a ticket to the ethereal, it is a gritty existence with traction in this world's dust and sand.

This week we were back into the depths of life in Naivasha.  Biking to work at the hospital, plodding through presentations of patients, teaching interns, grabbing oxygen and working to bring breath back into babies, listening to hearts and lungs, making phone calls, arranging for scans, considering diagnoses, talking to parents, explaining differentials, keeping alert to fluctuations in jaundice or weights, being called to the operating theatre, Scott intervening to save mother's lives and me trying our best with their babies.  After two months in the USA I was surprised by how immediate the immersion occurred.  Within minutes it felt quite normal.  More than that, I was surprised by how much I really do love messy impossible health care for marginal children.  Teaching the nurses and interns how to calculate a dose or recognize a seizure (always a little disturbing to reach into a crib on rounds to examine a baby and be the first one to notice they are convulsing . . ).  For Scott, teaching them to do an ultrasound, to follow the course, to extract a breech, to safely complete a C-section.  In spite of all the misery, there is also the sense:  this is what we were made to do.

Following Jesus into Naivasha is following deeper into this broken world, not finding ways to escape it.  Hands-on, blood and reality.  Deeper into life even to the point of death, not instant solutions and controlled endings.  Jesus met Peter and John and the others in their boats after a futile night of their normal work.  We pray He meets us in the corridors of a District hospital, leaning over beds crammed with doubled-up patients, facing the futility of chromosomal errors and lungs filled with muck.  

Following Jesus deeper in pulls us away from people we love, which is the hardest part of all.  But we aren't alone, far from it.  I'll close with some photos of the perks of being on this journey with others.
Three Wheaton college students and Professor Scott Ickes (who worked with us in Bundi), here for the summer to study the impact of women's work on flower farms and in the tourism industry on their ability to breast feed their babies . . extremely important topics.  

One afternoon I took the three college students staying in our house to Crescent Island . . one of the beauties of Naivasha, which you can see in the background.

Another night, dear friends from Virginia passed through!  Summer is the short term mission season, and they were with a church group headed to support a Kenyan school and orphanage.  John and Mary are truly like a brother and sister in their connection to our family.  Pretty crazy to meet them on this side of the earth.

And even though the majority of the weekend we spent working, today was a real Sabbath.  Playing the piano for worship, making waffles and ice cream for our neighbors the Ickes's and our house guests, remembering community and celebration.

Quiet time in the afternoon, deeper in.

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