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Saturday, November 15, 2014

A Lady of Regrets

I've never forgotten the day I said goodbye to my church before I left for the "mission field" (and if you're just tuning in to my blog you should know my opinions of such terms and actions have radically changed since then) an elderly lady came up to me and said that when she was 20 years old that she "got a call" to go to India and she never did- and here's the part I'll never forget- she said that she has regretted not going every single day of her life.

It was her caution and her exaultation to me. Both a "good on ya for going" and a "don't do what I did" kind of heavy-handed pat on the back.

I've never forgotten that encounter. It used to be a motivator for me. "Keep going or else you'll end up with regrets like that lady." "Don't quit or else you'll be haunted for the rest of your life like that lady." But now I'm filled with nothing but sorrow for that woman. She had a family. Children. Grandchildren. A home. And she regretted it. It wasn't enough. It wasn't good. It wasn't honoring or pleasing to God in her sight; sight which had been so guilt ridden by the calls of Christian duty foisted upon her. What a shame.

I don't think that's what God wants. I don't think God is up there feeling disappointed because she didn't answer "her call" (if there is such a thing). I don't think He looks at her family or at her life and thinks, "Well I certainly made the best out of her bad decision. Too bad she didn't go to India, she really missed out."

What have we as a Christian culture done to make being a mom and a grandmother something to be regretted?

What have we as a Christian culture done to encourage neglecting our own families for the sake of saving someone else's?

I don't know. Just a thought.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Traveler I Seek

"So turning left and right in absolute synchrony, Like the waves that carry them, As if one single entity, And yet so many; each unique."- The School of Fish (a poem) by Sabeen Khurshid

Scuba Diving Bonaire - Something Special from Pierre Molin on Vimeo.

Imagine if one fish decides to turn and confront another...

The synchrony with which they once danced through the ocean, the unity and conjoined nature with which they once behaved as a single entity, would be thwarted.

The devastating truth of the matter is that we do this all the time and we call it "accountability." We halt a symbiotic journey of friends in order to turn and address another in confrontation.

Are we not members of the same body? Is it not our diversity and individuality functioning at a corporate level that makes us so beautiful? Like a ribbon swaying and skating through the realm of the sea?

Were we not made to blend and move together?

Why would someone interrupt that?

I'm just not going to do it anymore. I'm not going to hold you accountable for your actions because I'm not God, I'm not your judge. I'm your fellow traveler. And I am not going to compare your journey to mine because they are too different and uniquely and specifically catered to who we are as children and seekers of God. I don't want any part of that anymore. I don't want to be that person anymore. I don't want to be the one that interrupts the flow of the unit. I want to journey and travel well for my own sake and for the sake of the symphony that is US.

I'm not saying that I won't ever be that person again from this day forth, but it is my sincere desire to try to be the person that supports and engages rather than the one who confronts and ostracizes.

I appreciate your journey. I appreciate the variety and sinew of avenues through which we arrive at our common ground. I want to celebrate who you are and how you travel. I want to be inspired by your ebb and flow. I want to encourage the beauty you exonerate. I want to enjoy the rhythms and movements that you take as I learn to move with them in my own way. I want to trust the longevity of journies rather than assault the temporary with anxiety, fear and doubt. I want to extend the respect and trust that I have so graciously received from a God Who sees every hiccup I will make along the way and still refuses to take away my license to choose. I don't want to disrupt that, I want to be a part of that. And after all, isn't that the longing in every human heart?