Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Unknown Wild

It is with some of the greatest trepidation that I sit before this computer screen tonight . . .
Life, as it is prone to do, has handed me some curveballs in the last weeks of humid air dancing swiftly with the crisp fall spurring of leaves.

Unexpectedly, our family was asked to say goodbye to a dad, a grandpa, a great grandpa, and a great-great grandpa. I say unexpectedly because he was one of the most disciplined, healthy men I knew -- he was also the caliber of man that I had convinced myself would never pass on. The universe and its Maker have swift ways of reminding us just how human, how temporary, we are. I found myself in the business of hefting around heavy loads of refusal at standing graveside, yet again.

Possibly not even a week before he was called home, his daughter (my gran) was diagnosed with Leukemia. I will go on record and say that Jesus is good - immeasurably so - and cancer, of any form, is a giant, hope dimming bitch. I won't apologize for feeling so negatively towards a disease that, regularly, chips pieces of our hearts away.

Cancer is never really something I wanted to have to handle by any degree.

"It's just a touch of cancer," she said. Words that will make me forever want to cradle the woman who started it all for my family.

It's been a couple of weeks - of teeth gnashing, tongue biting, soul searching, mistake making reality - and I feel I am simply not up to the task

As if I have a choice. 

Before and after and swirling all around the disease and the death that riddles life on this earth, I took a phone call.

You see, I read this book called Let's All Be Brave not too long ago - and I read a lot - but this book? It shook my soul loose. It made my hair a little crazed. It stirred my heart to rattle fast and hard against its cage.

A call to live out our bravest selves - a call to examine just what it was, and why it was, we were not answering a call for the sitting frozen, frigid, frightened in the shadow of fear. It was a call to go dancing into the unknown wild. I started to think about this - and then promptly stopped because I was sure-fire positive I wasn't going to like the answer He provided.

And I did not.

Here's what you need to know -- in the middle of the losing and the weeping and the hating exactly where I was, no matter where I was - I felt a nudge to say yes to something I had always thought no to. I felt a nudge to be obedient.

I don't like to sweat. The only time this seems even remotely reasonable is if I am at the gym - and even then I'm concerned of to what degree of beet or tomato I may look.

I don't like curry. Well, I actually don't know if I like curry because I've never had it, but I'm not a fan of the range of spice.

I've never flown on an airplane without a family member. So I'm a twinkie, what of it? I've seen London and Paris; I've stood on a sidewalk and looked up, up, up at the colorful bulbs of Times Square, and I went to Georgia for the first time when I was around 7; but a mommy or a gran were with me every time.

My heart is for Dayton. Or that is what I had convinced myself of before I read this book; before I knew Jesus more; before I decided to prohibit fear from making the decisions of my life for me.

It is with some of the greatest trepidation that I sit before this computer screen tonight . . .
Because once I click the mocking post button, there isn't much of any going back.

I am going to India.

In the middle of mourning and trying to care for my people when I'm an hour away - in the middle of trying to remember why it is I no longer what to be the girl I was at 17 - in the middle of realizing just how hard being an adult is (get up and go to work no matter how your heart hurts) - in the middle of trying to push away and being pulled closer, still - in the middle of all of the things that make this life stupid beautiful and crazy painful, I decided to show obedience in a way that is unfathomable.

I am going to India. To try to figure out who this girl is that Jesus keeps sticking around for; to meet the orphans He loves wildly and all the way true; to push the boundaries of a heart long lived in fear and restraint; to love.

I am going to India. Because He asked me to.

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