My sister and her children spent the week with us. Soon the fundraising begins, the nitty gritty of details….the end of life in America. I want to beg her to stop. I want her here, safe, without a gazillion miles between us. I want to watch her children grow. I want to hold their hands. I dread that much of who they will be will unfold for me only in pictures and email and phone calls (and that dependent on just how much access they have to the technology required to reach me here.) I don’t, however. I sit silent with their decision, this heavy call. I understand some of what it means to live a yielded life even if it tears my heart….
If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters--yes, even their own life--such a person cannot be my disciple…
We had a lot of conversations this past week. Many words spoken, contemplating the call of God. Her as she and her husband prepare to move her children to Africa, away from all they know and me, as I teach my children to love the hurting as we raise children of trauma (who despite all the wonderfulness that is very much a part of who there are, are grieving in very difficult and exhausting ways). What does it mean to live beyond yourself instead of for yourself?
Here is my body, broken for you…
I wish I could put this jumble of thoughts in some coherent string of language that made sense but I struggle. The sacred and the mundane often bump heads and we are jumbled around in the middle trying to figure out where we fit. But of one thing I am convinced: when Jesus called his followers to take up their cross he was not referring to a charm that dangled around a chain on our necks. I believe with all my heart that when we refuse to lay it all down for the sake of our Savior we are not withholding some needed thing from our God, but instead we are withholding from our own selves the very thing that leads us to true joy. When He calls us to suffering it is not to harm us, but instead to heal us….
O Shepherd. You said you would make my feet like hinds' feet and set me upon High Places".
"Well", he answered "the only way to develop hinds' feet is to go by the paths which the hinds use.”
― Hannah Hurnard, Hinds' Feet on High Places