I know you believe in miracles. Sometimes it’s easier to believe in miracles for others than it is for yourself. And sometimes the miracle is very different than we ever thought or wanted it to be, but nonetheless as potent.
Some say love is a miracle. The giving of oneself against all odds for no other reason than a desire to be close to them. When that person is no longer there, the emptiness looms like a specter of pain, a harbinger of hopelessness.
In spite, or maybe because of the loss, we face our greatest challenge – to find purpose, to learn why. Why? Why now? Why them? Why me? And then the inevitable – now what?
There is purpose to our pain, they say. Perhaps they have attained some great insight, some revelation that the rest of us, still damp from the grief and tears, have yet to see through the blurry-eyed hours that follow us hauntingly from waking moment to restless slumber.
I could expound much on the man I knew that so recently has left this earth to find perfect comfort in the embrace of the only One that ever understands us; our true sympathizer. Yet, in the shadow of death we so often reminisce of their funny quirks, their sense of levity, and their character in hard decisions. The moments where they have shone in our memories like a lighthouse beacon on fog strewn shore, hiding all the blemishes of their person, all their mistakes and failings.
This is how it should be.
But often overlooked are the silent and unassuming buttresses of our lives. Those overlooked, even forgotten in the brighter, sunlit parts of our lives. The friends who give up their schedules to bring you meals, to take you where you can’t get to without trying to turn your already upside-down life on its head. Those who wordlessly speak with a gentle hug, a light squeeze that fills you volumes of love, blow your already shaking confidence into the cradle of compassion.
These are unsung heroes. These are the brothers, the sisters, the mothers, fathers, grandparents, and intimate friends that in a moment make you understand that purpose is not always what you believe it to be. Sometimes it’s just what it is, and that, that cannot be explained or defined. Without, we are at the mercy of the batting wings of despair, the lurking ghost of despond.
They are those brandishing the gleaming sword of hope, the inextinguishable torch of mercy, the bearers of love in selflessly offered cups.
To them, I am indebted. By them, I am honored. And with them, I gain one more step towards understanding the inevitable why?
The final decision on who will be part of a team from Freedom Ministries to Ecuador was decided this week.
And I'm glad to say that I'll be there!
We leave December 6th for 12 days, returning on the 17th.
From the moment it was announced a month ago I've been wrestling with whether I am to go or not. Finally, after a couple of days of praying, I felt I was suppose to attend the meeting for everyone going. Those who didn't attend the meaning, barring legitimate reasons for their absence, would not be included.
Ever since the excitement and the reality of it has been building. I've already sent my passport in for renewal, developed a game plan to get in shape and prepared for the rigors of the jungles of South America.
And so, here I am, wondering how God's going to put it all together. The trip cost money. Money I have not. There are supplies and equipment needed- things I don't have either. Time off from work...something that I miraculously do have seeing as that week is prime time for the retail market due to holidays. No manager is supposed to give their employees time off from Thanksgiving to New Years. Mine said "Yes" in a heartbeat. No begging, pleading, or bribing. I owe her big in some way...
Nevertheless, if God can remove my greatest hurdle (no time off, no go), what's a thousand dollars?
That aside, here's an awesome little tidbit... Ever see End of the Spear? That movie about Nate Saint and Jim Elliot?
Yeah, same area! Roughly. Here's map to show you:
View Freedom Ministries Missions Trip 2010 in a larger map
For reference, the little green "tents" are sites used in Operation Auca (which you can read about HERE) The Red Triangle is a village that Elliot and Saint went to that was later destroyed and the "four arrows" marked is the approximate location of their base of operations. The other markers are for our upcoming trip.
If you click over to the map and drag out the little yellow man from the "zoom bar" on the left side, you'll see a bunch of blue spots that you can drag the man to and see pictures of the area!