Monday, April 2, 2012

Field Work

Give me profound. Something that rattles my paradigms and shakes loose the chains in which I store my judgmental, unloving perspectives. Let me go to the field.

There’s a scene in Indiana Jones, Kingdom of The Crystal Skull, which quickens my heartbeat. Dr. Jones and Mutt are on a motorcycle fleeing for their lives in a high speed chase. As Mutt attempts to out-maneuver their pursuers he ends up riding into the university library where he lays the bike on its side and slides down the center of the building. They skid to a stop just before colliding with a group of students attending a lecture. Without missing a beat, one of the students on the front row asks Dr. Jones – who listens while brushing himself off and getting back on the bike – a question about archeology.

Mutt restarts the bike’s engine and starts to ride away as Jones answers the question, shouting the last bit of counsel over his shoulder and pointing to the young man,

“If you want to be a good archeologist, you gotta get out of the library!”

He shouts this to the young man… but he may as well be shouting it to me.

And it was standing in a circle in the driveway, our family and the family we had just met the day before, them praying blessing over our family as we get ready to set out on an epic adventure, which made my heart race. This family who invited us to stay in their home while attending the homeschool conference for the weekend… the ones we stayed up with until 12:30 in the morning sharing stories and laughter like we’d been friends for a lifetime. The profound intimacy and beauty of Kingdom Connections.

I am finding profound in these Kingdom moments. These seek-ye-first-the-kingdom-of-God-and-His-righteousness moments when I am filled to so full that I think I’ll surely burst with the eternal-ness. Moments when Heaven’s horizon is so close that I can wrap my arms around it, embrace it, and revel in the all-these-things-shall-be-added-unto-you of it all.

It comes to me through the crackly, “wait, what did you say? You’re cutting out…” voice on the line all the way from Southeast Africa – in the friendship that transcends oceans and continents and the supernatural connection that doesn’t wane. Her laughter and encouragement a grace gift I tuck in my heart and replay over and over.

Field moments, one right after the other, connections between people turning ordinary into extraordinary in kitchens, on telephones, over e-mail, on the bleachers at the game, in a card thoughtfully chosen with a word of encouragement written inside, in classrooms, cafes…

Raphael's "And how can we pray for you?" in the French-bakery-turned-church.  The way our friends opened their home and their hearts, invited us to share in their ministry of loving people.  How they showed us that spending time in the field is tangible, moment by moment caring for the other in the tension and struggle and victory and celebration.

So it is with much anticipation that our family is setting out on an epic adventure, getting “out of the library” to do some field work, to use all our senses to experience what we’ve only previously read and heard about.

We leave for Nepal this Tuesday, arriving in Kathmandu on Wednesday afternoon. 

Grateful for the profound...

169. In the way that Israel finishes reading part of the story about Moses telling Pharoah to let the people go, closing her Bible with a sigh and, "All the good books stop right when it's getting really good and I wonder what's going to happen next."

170. The evening my girlfriend and I pulled into the driveway and the two-hour conversation that ensued.

171. And the depth of vulnerability and authenticity cultivated in a friendship through doing life together.

172. In the level of (desperate, eventually-joyful) dependence on God as I realize daily that I'm in way over my head in this mission of motherhood and the pressing into the struggle of training up becoming-adults.

173. ...Grace.

174.  Wisdom offered up when my attitude of defeat and self-pity bubbled out over the phone to a friend and she gently reminded me that there isn't anything in my life that's an oversight on God's part.  How that He's known it all along and He's got it all under control.

175. ...sense of peace that comes from knowing I'm not responsible for "running the universe."

176. Thoughtfulness of husband who sacrifices in a thousand small and not-so-small ways everyday.

177.  In the way that his love continues to cover in spite of my selfishness... and how that alone somehow loves me right into his arms.

178. Exhortation of 14-year old Zae who gently reminds, "Instead of stressing, stop and take a second to pray about this."

179. Laughter all round as we linger long at the dinner table sharing stories from our day.

180. Anticipation of not knowing what lies ahead as we embark on a Kingdom Journey together.

181. Dialogue filled with passion and conviction.

182. Awareness that almost five years have gone by since we moved to Germany.

183. Dreams that lie unfulfilled and how my spirit soars when I contemplate stepping through to this next transition.

184. Expectation of God's faithfulness and amazing grace in this next chapter...

185. Simplicity.


  1. LOVE this!Can't wait to hear all about it!

  2. Seriously your deep thoughts are so yummy! You inspire so much! It is refreshing to know that I get share life with you! Thank you for the treasure of your friendship! I am a lucky girl!

  3. Quite the deep thoughts, thanks for sharing. It's a lot to catch up on but thank you for your openness about life and God. It's very comforting.