Monday, July 14, 2008

Rough Draft

This has been one of the more unexpected months of my life. There have been plenty of surprises to keep me on my toes. My soundtrack has been "Viva La Vida" by Coldplay and my books of comfort were The Same Kind of Different as Me, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and Wide Awake.

This entire transition month began half a year ago when I got it into my head that I was ready to try life abroad. I worked towards, applied for, and prepared myself to move to Africa for a few months. I truly believed that the Lord was directing my steps through the application process, and as surprised as I had originally been about the opportunity, my heart had done a 180-degree shift and it was set on going.

I even went as far as to pack up my apartment and place all of my furniture and most of my possessions in storage. As I finished cleaning out the old on a Monday morning, I found myself looking upwards and saying, "I hope you know what you're doing Lord."

Of course the answer is that he does know exactly what he is doing, even if I don't always comprehend his thoughts or ways. The very next day I pulled into work only to discover a very polite rejection e-mail sitting in my inbox. Six months of planning and preparing seemed in an instant to have been wasted. I expected to feel disastrously sullen and upset, but found myself instead feeling foolish and limping along with wounded pride. I had work to do, so I set aside any emotions and moved forward with my day. That day turned into a week, and then work took me to camp with 200 kids, and camp took me to exhaustion and finally settling in to the condo that is now my furnished home, thanks to a kind soul on a roommate listing.

I sat on the floor of my room yesterday and tried to have a "moment". I was ready to cry, to journal, to pour out my soul to the Lord, but nothing seemed to come. As I watched the storm clouds roll in, I pulled out some stationary and wrote letters. I found myself reading the rest of the evening with no new goal or resolution to claim. But I think that's ok.

My reading of Wide Awake led me to chapter 10 of the book of Mark. There's a story there about a blind man (Bartimaeus) who was begging by the road. As Jesus and his disciples pass the man cries out, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" Some of the people were annoyed with him, but the man continued to only shout louder. Jesus finally responds and asks him this question: "What do you want me to do for you?"

In Wide Awake Erwin McManus writes, "Now isn't that a strange question? I mean, a blind man walks up to him, and Jesus asks, 'What do you want me to do for you?' To begin with, Jesus is supposed to be God. Shouldn't he already know what the blind man wants? But even if he wasn't God and he was just intuitive, surely, with a blind guy standing in front of Him, what Bartimaeus wants would be pretty obvious....Why make something so obvious a point of emphasis? It's all about the question: 'What do you want me to do for you?'"

The truth? I want Him to speak clearly and slowly enough for me to hear above all the noise that I seem to be making. For some reason I think that this life should be unfolding perfectly. I must remember that this is a draft, the perfection won't come in this lifetime. Until that time I must be content with edits and changes.


Anonymous said...

you are awesome.... -m.

Austin & Ashley Evans said...

Yet another reason why I adore you, your honesty. I'm so sorry about Africa, but will be praying for you. I know that God is using you in mighty ways - I love you!

Steve said...

You will be amazed what is coming your way....some of us waited 23 years and it was worth it.