Friday, June 27, 2014

May I be returning home with more than a half-empty suitcase

Pero Jesús no se lo permitió, sino que le dijo: Vete a tu casa, a los tuyos, y cuéntales cuán grandes cosas el Señor ha hecho por ti, y cómo tuvo misericordia de ti. Marcos 5,19

And  Jesus did not permit him (to travel on with Him) but said, “Go home to your friends and family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how He has had mercy on you.” Mark 5:19

And this is where the rubber meets the road.

And as I made my way, slowly, very slowly, with three and three and six-hour flight delays, back to my loved ones, I could feel the cultural trappings start to settle in around me, like a well-worn and comfortable sweatshirt.

But since I actually did not have a sweatshirt, I was very grateful to face all of that air conditioning with the black sweater that Nicole had nabbed from Marco's Vintage Shop, which provides rent and food payments for those who need help, as well as stacks of free clothes from the donations that are not vintage, but merely "old."

And not withstanding my St Francis resolves, my listening shifted slowly into chatting, and my eye contact glanced away more frequently, and my vocabulary became less precise. And I checked my email a lot more frequently.

And I imagine on lots of levels it would be easier for the demonic who lived in the caves to move on and not return to the same commitments and relationships and challenges, but Jesus sent him back. And the challenge is to faithfully and humbly proclaim His great works and his great mercy.

For instance, this morning I woke up thinking, or was it dreaming, about my homeroom class at Desert, and how I am to change the systems and routines to disciple these students into being more like Jesus. Because I have been told to make disciples, and now I have a deeper understanding of that commandment and more urgency in my heart. May I not be complacent with the peace that the world gives, but may I be about His business, both to restoration and to honor and glorify His name.

And last night, I was flipping through the photos with Jenny and Tim, a very gracious audience by the way, just before they served me homemade lamb gyros, and suddenly I remembered the guy with the tuxedo and the guy with the red shirt and the guy starting a restaurant on our last walk through Istanbul. And suddenly I remembered the palpable presence of God, yearning to tell each of these men that He so loved them. And I have also been commanded to heal the sick and bind up the broken-hearted and loose the captives, whatever that looks like, it is my business, or rather His business to find out.

And there is sure a lot that I don't know or understand. For instance, the demon-possessed man saw Jesus from afar and ran and worshipped Him. And Jesus at once had mercy on Legion, and did not torment him, and did not cast him out of the country.

But it is not my job to know or understand, but simply to obey that soft, yet steady voice that I am learning to recognize.

I reread the Christianity Today article about how to be a peaceful leader, and was struck again by this quote: Peaceful leaders offer a fresh view of Jesus because he is embedded in their character.

May they say, "She has been with Jesus."

And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled.

For he had been with Jesus.