I have a confession to make…I never finished Kisses for Katie. I know. According to everyone in my world, I need to read it. It’s changed so many people’s lives. Yada-yada-yada. But, if I am going to be honest and vein, I couldn’t get past the writing [People probably feel that way about me. Oh well, I won’t be offended if you don’t read my imaginary book]. And if I am going to be honest in my humanness, it kills me, still, to not be in Africa and squishing those little girls’ cheeks that call the Amazing Katie “Mommy.” You see, I had to kiss many of my dreams goodbye to say yes to this one. Or, as my friend Carlos spoke so beautifully to me “You gave up one person’s dreams, to say yes to three.” Phew. I am not there yet, but his words are noteworthy, and I almost need to see them for myself to remember that this is all worth it. Through the tears and the ripping of my clenched fists, it is all worth it.
And this is the pain and privilege of ministry that I have heard so often about. How quick I am to recognize the pain of the ministry. I see what I am loosing. I see my half empty glass being splashed around by clumsy, three year old fingers, and sipped out of my hungry fourteen year old hands, and tripped over by distracted nine year old feet; I see the half empty so quickly.
But the privilege is so clear when I just take off my Sally-tainted glasses and view the world through the Word. As I let worship play in my car, not out of enjoyment, but out of desperate need, the same songs making rounds in our car over and over and over again. And, in the times where I have lost my smile, I hear the sweetest voice coming from the seat directly behind me, learning a new song of praise:
Yaweh, yaweh, we love to shout your name…
Somedays, I have the energy to teach him new songs; I believe in the power of worship, and the power that comes with speaking out the name of Jesus. And, I know, that if one day we ever part, he may not remember my prayers over him, or things I’ve tried to teach him, but these songs will ever rest in his spirit and escape his mouth, even in the most mundane of tasks. But today was not a day like that. Today, I was tired, and weak, and feeling the pains of the ministry. Not even the pains of ministry, but just the pains of life and heartache, expectations, dreams. And yet, in my weakness, that sweet voice learned one of the strongest names of God. THE Name-that once was too holy to speak out loud.
And this is the privilege. And Jesus uses these moments, like he used the feeding of the five thousand for the disciples, to remind me of the miracles he is working all around me. He reminds me of how blind I can become, and how consumed I can get on the small pebbles on this marvelous road.
Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? And do you not remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets of broken pieces did you take up?
I have eyes, yet blindly I walk. And I have ears, yet I sit here, deaf to the miracles surrounding me. And I walk away full everyday, yet claim to feel hunger pangs. And, My Jesus tells me, the heartache is real…but so are the many miracles surrounding.