Returning from Mozambique is difficult on many levels. The 6 hour time distance plus the very long plane ride wreak havoc on the body. Finding the right time zone is a challenge. Catching up with work is difficult. And discovering what has happened at home while you were gone can be disconcerting. For us, this year, it meant learning that Bruce's mom had suffered a severe stroke, and was not expected to recover, and then just last Wednesday, she died, and now is living in Heaven. A lot has happened in a very short time.
This morning my devotions were from Genesis 9:8-17. God put the rainbow in the clouds as the sign of his promise to never again destroy the earth with a flood. The following poem reminds me that Bruce's mom has entered heaven, and instead of suffering pain and loss, she is enjoying the "light which never shall decay." For that we are thankful.
A Prayer of Gratitude
The rainbow bending in the sky bedecked with sundry hues
Is like the seat of God on high, and seems to tell these news -
That as thereby he promised to drown the world no more
So by the blood which Christ has shed He will our health restore...
Unto such joys for to attain God grants us all his grace
And send us after worldly pain in Heaven to have a place,
Where we may still enjoy the light which never shall decay
Lord, for this mercy lend us might to see that joyful day.
- Adapted from "Gascoigne's Good Morrow" by George Gascoigne (1542-1577)
Bruce, Rachel, and I are getting ready to head to Mozambique in only 10 days! I know the time will fly by. There are still a few things to prepare, but I think we're in pretty good shape. It will be good to be on our way, and doing the work God has prepared for us to do. Every day I have to remember to TRUST God. Worry is not an option. Trust is a choice, though. It doesn't come naturally. Sometimes, I just think, "I can't do this! I'm not qualified." Then I remember the Apostle Paul's words from I Corinthians 12:9 - But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you,for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness so that Christ's power may rest on me.
"O God of peace, who has taught us that in returning and rest we shall be saved, in quietness and in trust shall be our strength: by the power of your Spirit lift us, we pray, to your presence, where we may be still and know that you are God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."
I am a college student this month. An interesting experience. I'm taking an interim class at Calvin College. It meets every afternoon for three hours. That's a huge chunk out of my day. I'm studying African Cultures and Traditions through Folklore, hoping to learn a bit more about the African customs in Chinhangane. We've read a couple of books, and several short stories. The professor is a Kenyan, married to a Tanzanian. I love it when she shares stories about her personal life. She said she hasn't been able to find any folk tales or myths from Mozambique, but some of her stories sound similar to things I have encountered in Mozambique. I'm still trying to decide whether to audit the class or take it for credit. I'm just not sure I want to write the last paper.
If the moments of your day-to-day life were recorded as musical notes, what kind of music would they make? Would they sound like a breezy pop song or hard-driving rap music? Or would they sound like a beautiful symphony with structured pauses that give resonance to the notes?