Monday, September 24, 2012

On the Nations & Learning to Laugh

They teach me to belly laugh from somewhere called joy and the world looks different through this lens as the sun dances across my skin. They ask questions and I remember His goodness  in the little things. Sometimes, English leads us all astray but we know what it means to laugh and kick the soccer ball. I remember it is the quiet moments hiking through the woods together where I hear His voice speak right to my burden and the weariness fades with each step I take. Step on, daughter, step on.

I am a doer of the Word and I hear them laugh and the doing tastes sweet, like honey.

We work all day, me and my dozen. The ideas keep coming and I have to drag myself away and clean myself up. It takes two hours extra to load up the vans and yes, I am way late to my own party. So I ask her where she is from and we talk into the whole hour of lateness until it simply doesn't matter anymore and I watch the control slipping though my fingertips and I just laugh. I needed to be here more then there, just for that hour and it is good.

We make it home to the country and the crowds fan out from the big white vans and the green grass holds many tribes, tongues and nations now. I stand high and gaze out in awe for a minute. Then the to-do list kicks in and I greet and explain and smile a lot. We are here and it is happening and this is a glimpse of heaven right here in my own backyard. I was created for this, for these relationships, for these nations, for this moment right here—that together we might glorify God.

We play soccer and horse shoes and frisbe. I stand on the wobbly chair and take photos by the barn for hours. The girls love it, all of it. I try new angles and only wish I had the talent of a photographer because it is so much fun to watch the colors story-tell right on the other side of this lens. Moments captured, joy overflowing caught on pause forever. I attempt to edit later on and just laugh. So much laughter and I am lighter and God is bigger.

The photos blur from the barn to jumping to making Egyptian pyramids and I totally forget about the hard-boiled eggs and the ropes. The three-legged race and egg toss I had planned fades with the daylight as all fifty or so head down into the woods and gather around the flames. We eat and laugh more and for some they have never experienced this before. The way a hot dog tastes crisped black right off the flame, the way the marshmallow jumps across your face and the chocolate tastes better triune. Some pack up and hike up the hill back into the city. Others linger as the darkness drapes over us and the flame is brighter. I take a picture of it and I pray my life will resemble this flame, right here in this darkness sitting around me.
For the first time in the night, I just sit and stop directing and smiling. I sit and lock eyes and remember names and majors. I sit with several from the other side of the world and we talk. We talk about the government and the hot dogs and the way humanity is born sinful. We ask each other questions because we just want to figure out why we are here on this earth, why we are sitting around this fire sharing this moment. Eventually I talk about the cliffs and the bridge that leads to the other side, the only way to God through Christ. We ponder ultimate Truth together and she tells me about confucianism and how no one is perfect so we must pick and chose truth we believe, because there are always lies. The air thickens and the darkness brings a chill.

We are interrupted and we have to hike up to the house and load up the vans once again. God is at work on this mountain, in the big white van I drive through the dark winding roads late at night—He is there too. He is. I feel it and I see it and I am so thankful. I drop of the last one and its just me and a friend heading back up the mountain and we talk about how the Word really does just reveal itself and trying to be the holy spirit is draining. She testifies to the spirit dwelling and I am thankful because we all need to remember.

The same power that conquered the grave lives here inside of me.

My international friends teach me to joy through the laughter and to recognize the light in the darkness and to take goofy photos and to wrestle through the meaning of life together and eat burnt hotdogs and to let the spirit dwell richly inside.

They teach me to glimpse heaven and stay there because it is coming and I want to laugh with them there too.


  1. So proud to know you!!!! What an incredible event! I love all the pictures :) and I read most of it ;) Love you friend!

  2. Thanks means a lot to me that you read most of it :) Love you!!