As I sit to write this blog, it has just turned 4pm, and I must confess that I am already in my pyjamas.
I had another rather epic journey back to my parent’s house today (I think it would be fair to say that we had a *little* bit of flooding in the South West over the last 24 hours!), and did a small tour of Somerset to get past the large amount of road closures.
But, it’s Christmas Eve!!! And I am sitting cosied-up next to a wood burning fire, with my favourite Beagle cosied-up next to me, cup of tea in hand, knowing that the only thing I have to achieve for the rest of the day is writing this post. You really cannot beat that, you really can’t. I have so much to be thankful for. In so many ways.
This morning I had breakfast (and ANOTHER espresso ;)) with some friends before I headed off, and I was really struck by the purposes and plans of God that weave our stories together. The friends I was staying with are missionaries in Tanzania, and will probably be returning to Africa next year. Another friend who joined us, is heading to Peru for her first term as a missionary before summer 2014. I am heading to Japan in just a few weeks now. It’s unlikely that we’re all really going to be in the same place at the same time again for a very, very long time. But what struck me was the goodness and faithfulness of God. Because we talked about His provision, and His call. And my friends talked about their passion for places, and people, and serving Jesus, and translating the Word.
And as we shared something of where God was taking us, the really beautiful thought for me was that Jesus would be so loved in the nations of the world.
Like that old Moravian missionary saying puts its, that ‘the Lamb that was slain may recieve the reward of His suffering’.
And not everyone is called to go somewhere else. But everyone is called. To a purpose that is equally unique and stunning and full of potential in the hands of Jesus. We all stand chosen. And Jesus will be so loved.
My friend’s have an amazing 2 year old, Theo, who is just an absolute joy to be around. He is one of those kids who loves people and loves to play and has boundless energy. And when his Mum was making up the spare room for me yesterday, he was playing ‘hiding’ under the freshly made bedding. Like anyone would do really ;). Their spare room has walk in wardrobes fitted around the bed, and after discovering that ‘hiding’ under the bedding was fun, Theo also discovered ‘hiding’ in other parts of the room. Like the wardrobe. And then came the real discovery, which he proudly anounced. You could get from the bed, into the wardrobe without even standing on the floor.
Honestly, I was lying in bed last night, and all I could think about was whether it was true (don’t worry Cat and Ollie – I promise I didn’t try it… although I was really tempted!) Could you really climb in the wardrobe straight from the bed? Was it possible? I mean, there’s a question to keep you awake at night.
But that’s the thing with kids. They’re so inquisitive. They see the world as if it’s a giant puzzle just waiting to be put together. They see a bed and it’s a fort to take refuge in. They see a wardrobe and it’s the perfect spot to wait and surprise someone from. They look at new things as the next adventure to figure out. They have eyes that just see things differently. You can watch them, pausing momentarily to work out the solution, getting up after failure to try again, making things a whole lot of fun.
And I really wish we didn’t lose that as we grew up.
Because sometimes, as adults, we get so scared of change. So unable to see things differently. So unwilling to learn. So… boring. We look at the bed and we look at the wardrobe and we would never-in-a-million-years think to ask whether it was possible to to climb between the two. We probably wouldn’t even want to. We definitely wouldn’t feel we needed to.
But I can’t help but think that Jesus wants to restore something of His vision to us. Because He so often saw things differently. He still so often sees things differently. Like, you know, when his disciples saw a few thousand hungry people facing a long walk home, but Jesus saw a kingdom feast of epic proportions. Or when the people of the town saw a funeral possession, but Jesus saw a life-giving resurrection. Or when the pharisees despised the outcast, the sick and the broken, but Jesus saw His chosen people, the healed and the whole. He saw things through different eyes. Through the reality of heaven. Through the reality of grace.
I long for a vision like that. That I would grow up to be able to see the things that should never really have be lost. Because, I can’t help but think, that if we could really get that, and really believe that, and really live that, then wherever in the world we would find ourselves, Jesus would be so loved.
That’s my thought this Christmas Eve.
May we always have the eyes of our heart opened to the reality of Holy Spirit’s beautiful Truth.
To His creativity.
To the way which He works outside of our boxes.
To make the impossible hiding-from-the-bed-to-the-wardobe moments, the things that we see through eyes of faith.
(In the middle of this blog post I was pleasantly interrupted by a Facetime call from some of my favourite people… Please don’t think I’ve spent hours in front of the computer :))