Saturday, February 25, 2006

Missions Incredible

It's the Summer of 2005. I'm alone with 6 teenagers in South Korea. We are on a 12 day cultural and economic exchange. Prior to leaving America I had heard some astronomical statistics.
South Korea was:

As a Christian, it thrilled me to my very toes to think about being in that atmosphere. I was as excited to go as I was nervous to be so far from home.

This month, Christianity Today had a new statistic on it's cover... South Korea - Missions Incredible. They have now grown to be the largest sender on missionaries to the world - 13,000 with one missionary sent for every 4 churches. A New York Times article stated that with a 'low voice and wisdom', Koreans have had the greatest impact on converting the Muslim world to Christianity.

I was blessed. I didn't cheer, however, when I read either article. You want to know 'Why'? Because in my experience there was no 'low voice'. There was not even a whisper. If Christianity were defined soley as 'service until it hurts', then every person I met would have fully qualified. There was one heart that would have welcomed that whisper; it was starved and ravenous when it arrived back home. Maybe my expectations were too high.

Things have been different for me in two ways since my return. 1) I'm more anxious to serve people, to give until it hurts. 2) I whisper. To everyone who looks hungry... and even some who don't.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Opening Up...

"Mama was always cooking up nourishing broths and porridges for forgotten old men, pale young mothers, or those who wandered through her kitchen door."

"Mama's love had always been acted out with soup pot, & sewing basket. She loved the people she saw in the street, and beyond. Her love took her to the world as she prayed for and fed the ones who entered. And so I learned that Love is bigger than the walls that shut it in."
~Corrie TenBoom~ The Hiding Place

I was maybe eight years old when I read those words the first time. I had just given my life to God at church camp. They began a lifelong dream. I wanted to become a woman who loved people beyond the normal boundaries of family or friends. I wanted my door (both to my heart and to my kitchen) to always be open to anyone and everyone.

Every now and then something happens in life to remind me of that childhood dream and that God has not left it unattended, even though I wonder where it has gotten off too sometmes. This past weekend was one of those reminders. James called me Saturday from work to tell me one of his blogging buddies was going to be in town with his wife. Now, we live in the middle of nowhere, and if anyone is coming to our town it is usually on their way to somewhere. But not this time.
We had never met Justin and Nicole. Never seen them other than in pictures. Never heard their voices, or had any connection other than the periodic comment on eachothers' blogs ... and God. That was enough! We invited the two of them to stay overnight in our humble abode. To our thrill and surprise, they accepted!

I immediately tried to discount what we had to offer, but James hushed me. Then, in the hush, God began to draw out that eight-year-old heart ~ just give and let that be enough.

They were a blessing. Our oldest daughter stayed up and chatted with us for awhile after they arrived, the youngest was supposed to go to sleep. Instead she was the 'color commentator' from the back bedroom, interjecting her silly little nuggets of information. Nicole told us about growing up in our area, and about how she and Justin met. Justin told of his journey as a youth pastor, and moving west in his adorable, barely detectable Arkansas drawl. They still have such a journey ahead of them. And now that God has brought them into our lives, we get to watch their story unfold and maybe even continue to be a part of it in a small way. Thank you, Lord.

Justin & Nicole,
Our door is always open. I hope we see you walking through it again soon.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


I feel like saying something. Not sure what. So, I'll just say:

Sun is rising. Light is dispelling the darkness in sherbet hughs.

Quiet reigns. Made cozy by Cricket's soft, rumbly snores.

Vanilla Coffee. Bittersweet morning comfort cradled in a cup.

So begins the day...