Wednesday, August 29, 2007

It's Been A While

I guess it's time for me to start writing again, since people are actually starting to tell me in person that I need to update. Have I forsaken the task of life documentation because of lack of time or lack of anything interesting to say? Maybe it's a combination of the two.

In short, my two weeks in Kenya were hard and beautiful and healing. I miss so many things about Kenya, but I'm also glad to be home where God is doing exciting things within my heart and among the people I know.

I also led a three day backpacking trip for incoming Samford freshmen. Despite some minor bumps in the road, it went fabulously and it felt really good to do something I thought I could never do. And I developed some really neat relationships in the process.

The new apartment is great. Haley and I are obsessed with it. I wish I could stay here all day.

And now I'm only two days into classes and already feel like I need a break. I'm excited about the emphasis on community - both building community and/or plugging into one. It has really been stirring in this heart of mine for a while now. I get antsy about it because I'm so enthralled. But there's a lot of communities I'm trying to mentally reconcile and balance in my own head and, on top of this, my to-do lists are exanding into oblivion.

Shiloh was a much needed respite and refueling this evening, and God provided me with some very poignant words and images to renew my weary spirit. First, when April spoke of God drawing us to himself, a phrase which I've heard close to a thousand times, the first image that came to my head was from this past weekend at Council retreat when I had the joyous task of taking care of five-month-old Owen Pitts for Brian and Renee. It's Friday afternoon, there's no one else in the house; I'm sitting on the couch with my feet propped up, watching the rise and fall of baby Owen's back as he lays curled up sleeping on my chest. He has the occasional habit of burrowing his head into my collar bone, but his limbs are drawn up perfectly underneath him and all is quiet and right in the world.

This mental picture brought to mind the scripture where Jesus says "come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and humble in yoke is easy and my burden is light." The literal translation of "easy" in the verse means "fitting" or "appropriate." This is how Jesus draws us in to give us holy rest - shabbat. Just like Owen was "easy" as he sprawled across my midsection, perfectly fitted between my arms and chin for rest, we are drawn into our heavenly father's arms for rest. And the space in which we dwell is fitting for us, is appropriate for our rest and comfort, because the Father knows exactly what we need, exactly how much we can bear, exactly how to bring us peace.

"A mother's arms are made of tenderness, and sweet sleep blesses the child that lies therein." -Les Miserables

"For the Sabbath was created for man, and not man for the Sabbath" -the bible