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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

You are not alone: fractured love, the human reality

Perhaps the most important signpost in all our fog is this:  you are not alone.

As a ten-day stretch of woe unfolded, we also had four sets of visitors, two prayer group meetings, worship practice, church.  In other words, the bolstering reality of community, however imperfect, that reminds us that we are never alone.  That no matter how frustrating or futile the work can feel, no matter how anxious or self-serving we are disappointed to find out that we are, no matter how weary or irritable we become, we are part of a larger group of people on similar paths.  

Some of these are people we serve, people we have befriended, people that pray for us, people with whom we work.  None of them will ever make up for all that is wrong in this world, nor will we smooth it all over for them.  But by acknowledging together the losses, and hunting together for the thankfulness and joy, we are strengthened to continue.

I found this book Accidental Saints at a supporter's home this summer, and he kindly and quickly handed it over.  It's not for everyone, but Nadia Bolz-Weber writes with refreshing poetic truth about the smudgy messiness and the gleaming loveliness of the community of believers.  She is just edgy and challenging enough to give us a glimpse of what the counter-cultural nature of Jesus' teaching must have felt like in the context of established religion.  And here is a quote that came back to my mind today:

" . . human love is never perfect.  We just aren't that kind of species.  There are cracks in everything and even the most shining aspects of our lives--even love, or perhaps especially love--come with imperfection. . . we always love imperfectly.  It is the nature of human love.  And it is okay."

So, today a pause and a tribute to the imperfect but hopeful signpost of human relationships.
Here and above, the Mixons . . we are both coming up to the quarter-century mark in living in and loving Africa.

Three Serge teens from RVA came out to Naivasha, food and sunshine and sleeping in and games for them, a taste of our missing kids for us.

Most weeks we get in a meal or two with our neighbors the Ickes family, here from Wheaton College doing nutrition research and bringing spark, liveliness, memories, and gourmet veggies into our life.

The last few days we hosted the Trinity Presbyterian (Charlottesville) Missions Director Kevin Sawyer and his associate Grady Smith.  We felt very supported by the church through these representatives.

Plus it is always a treat to show off the local wildlife.

Most weeks we participate in leading worship at our local church, a few blocks walk in our neighborhood, where we can pray for our town with people who care and understand.

No photo, but the interns who came to pray with us this week also encouraged us with their faith. 

So even as we long for the day when our life does not require that our immediate family (parents, siblings, kids) be spread across 3 continents, 6 time zones, 8 cities . . .we take comfort in the community at hand, and in the imperfect but shining love we give and receive.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

We thank God!