Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Testimony of His Grace

"Ah, when to the heart of man
Was it ever less than treason,
To go with the drift of things
To yield with grace to reason
And bow and accept the end
Of a love or a season?"

From Reluctance By Robert Frost, sketched into the back of my Bible ten years ago.

As spring surrenders to summer, Nathanael and I wonder at the year the Lord has walked us through? In 2010, after spending a month in Chad, we found ourselves long on conscious and short-on employment. Last Easter, returning to Iowa from a brief stint in Arlington,Texas we were voluntarily unemployed, pregnant and living in my parents basement. In the months that followed we discovered our home renters planned to renew, the Lord opened a door for us to return to Arlington in employment that would fulfill my husband's passion and background. With so much answered prayer it was difficult not to get swept away in the image of a perfect future.

Fast forward an entire year of the highest up and downs either of us could imagine. This year we've been grateful to be surrounded by family to carry us and grieve with us two failed pregnancies in six months. The pain and broken dreams of two special children Anna and Simeon drove me to Hopeful Hearts, at the Village Church Dallas. Although I believe with joy that we'll meet these precious ones as we glorify the Lord in perfection and restoration, the comfort and understanding of community has become a lifeline.

The silence of infertility can be a source of haunting pain, the quiet of empty arms, unexperienced joy and community celebration. The missing laughter of children looms in our hearts leaving a hole that only the Lord can fill, comfort and restore. Buoyed by strong teaching and close community we are experiencing joy and strength in Him. Needing daily refreshment and direction we're discovering the peace that comes by placing our faith in His salvation and not in my daily expectation. Now the words of Robert Frost are still true. Pain and disappointment is no less heart wrenching but through a trembling, halting faith in a being greater than I, my days are secure in the hope of Christ. In a father who gave His only child in order that restoration and rest may be poured out on His children for eternity.

"O God, you will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are fixed on you; for in returning and rest we shall be saved; in quietness and trust shall be our strength."
Isaiah 26:3; 30:15 Book of Common Prayer

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Prayers for Peace in the Digital Age

"When the elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers." Kikuyu Proverb, Kenya

In today's modern age, the saying applies to scandal, especially in the charity business. Recent allegations of false information in Greg Mortenson's Three Cups of Tea and objections about the allocations of funds have definitely tarnished Afghanistan's most popular representative. Considered, in popular culture, as the Mother Teresa of the war-torn region, his fall from grace will hurt more than book sales. Difficult economic times have reeked havoc on charitable giving, bringing to light another mismanagement of funds and inflated ego will likely affect the entire industry.

This story caused a disappointing stomach lurch while my brother-in-law is deployed in this conflicted corner of the world. Reminding me of the need for prayer, for both sides. As the snow melts in Afghanistan, the war is flaring up on the ground and on on 60 minutes. Let us not forget to pray for our family members far from home and the people they are interacting with everyday.

For a great perspective on Afghanistan from one of it's own check out this book:
Storyteller's Daughter by Saira Shah a British citizen turned journalist, who's father filled her with images of his beloved Afghanistan which she struggled to recognize upon her return as an adult.


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