Tuesday, August 3, 2010

the abiding city

"While living in a world of change, let us seek the abiding city."

In a month we will move to Harare, Zimbabwe. We will study Shona and learn to clap our hands when saying thank you. We will meet new people with an entirely new set of problems, mostly defined by hiv/aids.

We did not seek this. But it has come to us clearly from God's hand. One by one, He closed the other doors. This one is held open by eager hands. For the most part I was overwhelmed by inadequacy and reluctance. But His grace is sufficient, He keeps saying. So grace lurks behind that door when I step through.

Now suddenly, at this late hour, are we asked to reconsider and work elsewhere. Such sudden out-of-the-blue requests disorient me. But the Lord's Hand is in everything that comes. I don't know why the request. All I do know is that the decision to go to Zimbabwe came with prayer, thought, meditation, and fasting.

Oh yes, there is an urgent need elsewhere. More than once at Columbia Professor Kingsmore in his Scots lilt reminded us: "the need doesn't constitute the call." I'm glad he said that. It sounded harsh at the time, but it is bedrock.

"A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways." Lord, keep me single-minded. Secure me by Your Grace as I sail across a stormy sea. Keep me mindful of what You told us in the Light.

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