Friday, April 13, 2012

Between the rains ...

to commune - 1. means to converse or talk together, 
usually with profound intensity or intimacy, 
an interchange of thoughts and feelings. 
2. to be in intimate communication or rapport.
God has created us to live in community. After he created Adam, he saw the need to create Eve because he intended for us to be relational beings. We are meant to converse and exchange thoughts and feelings. We are created with an innate need for intimacy and deep rapport with one another. We see evidence of this throughout the whole of Scripture.
We have been blessed in so many ways during our time in Guatemala. We love our home, our life and our ministry. Yet, if we had to name one thing we miss from our old life, it would be community. (and probably Chickfila, but definitely our spiritual answer would be relationships) Especially, where our children are concerned. We have friends and we have a church family here which we love very much. But we miss some of the intensely deep and intimate friendships we used to have in Atlanta. Following God’s call can be an isolating experience at times. The beauty of it is that I am forced to depend on Christ alone and not the comforts of earthly relationships.
As we serve others, we pour out ourselves. It is our joy and honor to be a blessing to God’s people. After a long season of being poured out, we can start to feel dry or even empty. We don’t even realize the tank is running on fumes. When we start to get cynical or caustic, we need to refill the tank. We need some rain.

Last week, we had the joy of a visit from some of our very dear friends, the Brown family. On the evening of their arrival, we went to a favorite restaurant in Antigua. Lee and I nearly burst into tears when we looked at the far end of the table and watched our children laughing, playing, and joking with their friends. (We also learned they were burning straw papers in the candles ... not sure about the influence of MKs.(missionary kids)) It had been so long since they were all together, but that rapport instantaneously returned and joy was overflowing. There’s nothing quite like knowing and being known by beloved friends.
We spent 10 days living in deep community, serving alongside one another, breaking bread together, worshipping the One True God together. (There may have been some knife throwing and blowing up of Coke bottles too.) Love was poured out on our family like the rains after a drought. It was precious for each of us. None of us realized how much we needed the rain on our dry and thirsty souls. Souls longing for connection in a deep and meaningful way. It is so kind of the Lord, to send exactly what we need, exactly when we need it - especially when we don’t even realize we have a need. (I know their family needed it too, as they are living and serving in a whole different kind of mission field - Washington, DC.)
More than a few tears were shed at the end of our time together. I take it as a sign of life well-loved. We feel loved and restored and refreshed - ready to face the season between the rains. 

How about you? Are you in a dry season? Do you need the rains that only deep and abiding community can bring?

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