Tag Archive | missionary

Lessons From A Cat

Yesterday my roommate left for Africa.  It has been a long awaited dream that is now being fulfilled and I bless God for that.  She has been preparing Ben-Samuel all week long for her departure as best she could.  With limited understanding between species who knows how much he actually understood when she told him frequently she would be leaving for a while.  Though I care about Ben he is really her cat and so she does all the heavy duty stuff for him.  When he was sick she took him to the vet.  She changes his litter, buys all his food and is his primary caregiver.  He has also gotten into the habit of sleeping in her room most nights.  For that very reason I have been a little concerned about his response to her departure.

When we got Ben it was clear he was suffering from abandonment and really enjoyed people. He was so excited to be in our home that he made sure he was apart of every conversation and even made it a point to sit at the kitchen table to join us for meals!  I have never seen such a cat.  When we are lounging around the house he easily climbs on our laps and even computers just to snuggle.  But lately I have noticed he has gotten even more attached to my roommate and thus I wondered how would he respond to her absence?

I can’t help but see a parallel of this season with God and Ben’s relationship to my roommate.  She made sure to spend extra time with him, love on him and even tell him that she would be gone for a little while, but if Ben is anything like me, those things would fail in comparison to the seemingly never ending absence.  You see, I can look back on this prior year and see how God was preparing me for the season of “silence”.  I can see how much He was overwhelming me with feelings of His love.  I felt it everywhere and wondered at people who did not.  I can see how He was revealing Himself to me and who I am to Him in my heart and mind, flooding me in every waking moment of this revelation.  I can see now it was all preparation for the darkness to come.

I tell myself cats are like kids and are resilient.  I tell myself Ben will be ok and though he doesn’t know it, her leave is only for a short while.  I must also believe these things about myself.  I am learning resilience these days.  I’m learning to be secure in a love I most days no longer “feel”.  I’m learning to trust the Word over my emotions and I’m learning that though I may still desire a sign a sign has already been given.  Many signs in fact.

Right now as I type this post Ben is sleeping on my leg.  He has joined me for an early morning snuggle after trying to eat my cereal.  For some reason he likes people food…

And in that picture I am shown the need to adapt.  And the need to seek out other ways to have our needs met.  And I am grateful for this picture which I’m sure is given from the Father of all creation.

family-picture

SHALOM

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A Peculiar People

I was talking to a friend last night and we were discussing the longevity of certain waiting periods we have experienced in our lives. One of them of course, was in regards to relationships. One thing I shared was that I could easily be “doing me” in this season of living at home alone with no accountability. She agreed and said and it would actually be approved of by the culture. Our culture tells us, “You can do what you want simply b/c you are grown”. I am good and grown. It’s actually very odd to my culture I’m not dating around or hooking up or having a “friends with benefits relationship”. To be honest it’s very odd to my flesh. My flesh has kicked and screamed at me in this process of living for something eternal. It has raged and warred against the dying to self in this way. We have needs. We are human beings. How in the world do you go years w/o getting your needs met? The simple answer?
It’s supernatural.  

I think as believers we are eternal beings called to have a human experience, just as Christ did. That is where the friction occurs. Eternal beings do not have earthly needs, but we are in these earthly bodies that are screaming at us daily there are needs that have to be met. But we deny some of those needs in order to please Christ. And we do this for long periods of time.  

I will be visiting my friend tomorrow in Haiti. This is my first international trip and I’m so blessed to finally have this opportunity to be exposed to other cultures. My friend was living the American Dream in a sense. She had an amazing job straight out of college, made good money, and even owned her own home. But one trip to Haiti wrecked her and she ended up returning to the States with only the clothes on her back from that trip. She had given everything away to the Haitians. And now she is in ministry there with no plans to return “home” anytime soon. She is doing something so many in our culture think is strange but to me is so normal b/c I know her and I know the God she serves and I know this is what she was made for.  

Even as my trip is coming closer I have people warning me about my safety and concerned for my welfare, to which I boldly reply to their statements, “There is just as much craziness going on here in the United States as in other parts of the world”. My phone is constantly blowing up with notifications from CNN and local news stations about one tragedy after another. Just the other night I went 2 streets down from my house to pick up a friend and I felt like I was smack dab in the middle of Compton. It was a ROUGH street. I live in a ROUGH neighborhood. Anything could happen to me at any moment. But it doesn’t. Because I’m in God’s will and it’s simply not my time.

People’s mindsets and preferences and ways of functioning are so molded by the culture that they live in. They will not try certain foods or visit certain countries simply b/c their culture feeds them information about how they should feel about those experiences. Culture is so subtle that we do not even question our ideas and beliefs that generate from media, music and government. I know so many think it’s strange I choose to live my life the way I do, or visit places that I visit, but I am reminded that what the culture says is “normal” usually leads people along a path of destruction. And not even just eternal destruction but here in the natural. Most people do date around and sleep around and get married young. But most people experience broken relationships and get divorced. Most people never get exposure to the beauty that is in surplus in underdeveloped countries.

There is a cost to being different. To living your life differently than most. But there is also a reward. I keep being reminded in this season that the greatest reward is my relationship with the Father. Discovering who I am to Him and why He created me is incomparable to anything else in existence. I often take it for granted that I have access to the mind of the Creator of all things (1 Cor 1:16). I take it for granted when I hear His voice so clearly or a promise He gives me has manifested.  

I get to walk with God.  

Just as Adam did in the garden. Just as Enoch. Just as Jesus. That delicate balance of humanity and divinity that Christ expressed while eating fish with his disciples (whom He also called friends) and then walking on top of water are expressed daily in me, whether I realize it or not. Not b/c of who I am. But b/c of who He is in me.

On another note, I had the amazing opportunity to be a guest blogger on a young ladies’ blog who reached out to me. Please check out “Healing & Wholeness in My Natural Hair Journey” and also read her other writings!  

1 Peter 2:9

SHALOM