Monday, July 20, 2009

we need more hymns like this

may Thy house be mine abode
and all my work be praise.

There would I find a settled rest, while others go and come,
no more a stranger or a guest, but like a child at home.

When we sang those words yesterday, they washed me with peace and comfort.
Turmoil is part of this world (to which we cling with unconsidered urgency).
God is not a God of turmoil, but He works in it very well. He has brought friends my way to remind me of Himself and His care. I know I am not especially deserving, and others of His children suffer more with less padding around them.
Teach me how to be padding for someone else, even while I am here in this place.
If I am settled where You put me, I am readier to serve the guests who come my way.

Friday, July 17, 2009

His Voice in Chaos

Last Monday we sat down for a long-awaited meeting with our team leader, area leader and member care guy. All wonderful men. Phil and I thought we were discussing our future, hearing their concerns, they hearing ours and seeking a mutually agreeable conclusion.

It came as a shock, then, when about half way through, Mr Member Care observed that our leaders had made a decision and we thought we were discussing options. The decision had been made in February. We had not realized that because of words like "recommend" and "suggest." The reality came home very hard and for me the room began to reel.

It is the first time in my adult life where someone else has made a decision for me which profoundly affected my future in which I have not had a single word. This was hurtful. The consequences of the decision are far-reaching and painful. I have a new respect for the military: they go wherever they are told to go. I have a new understanding of servanthood: they do what they are told to do.

I've used the battle metaphor for our work in Mozambique, but I've been a volunteer. I've used the servant metaphor, but I've been serving those who "need" me and usually in my capacity and on my terms. Now I need to think of myself as a servant of our team leaders.

My life is not going to ever look the same again. We are being relocated from Quelimane. My email address will mock me: Karen in Where? Not Q, not any more.

As I struggle with hurt, disappointment, frustration and anger; going through all the "if onlys" and "what abouts" I feel the sucking vortex of self-pity. Lord, keep us all from that one.

Know what came to me today? Those Israelites in the wilderness. For healing all they had to do was look up. That's all they had to do, for heaven's sake. Look up at the snake. Look up, instant healing. Well, my healing won't be instant: I'm not a snake bite victim. But I will heal if I look up. His voice came to me in the chaos and said "look up." Don't be pulled into the pros and cons and arguments. Don't let bitterness and unforgiveness have a foothold.

Lord, keep talking, I want Your voice to be the One that comes in clearly in the Chaos.