22

February 23, 2005

stairwell accompaniment: Dave Matthews- #41

Oh, the daedal rapport I have with the country of Mexico and the morose dealings I have encountered with Continental Airlines.
I am home now.
I did have a glorious 7 days of Mexican warmth, sandy beach, Spanish conversation and one of the most stirring weddings I have had the pleasure of being a part of. Michelle was a beautiful and deserving bride. (Humorously, a wedding alone is a wedding alone no matter what exotic location it takes place in and “¿cuándo casará?” (read:when are you going to get married?”) is an unwelcome question no matter what language it is packaged in).
Unfortunately my trip was peppered with unfavorable events: bad directions, lost luggage, unearned sunburn, transvestite hair dressers, and rain. And it all culminated in a desperate Sunday morning breakdown after I was denied passage onto the ONLY flight leaving the airport that day. A prudish immigration officer and a paper mishap on behalf of the Monterrey airport became my immediate problem and I was stranded. Usually a calm, even-tempered person, I lost all composure and reason and there, in the provincial Tampico airport, I cried. Tears streaming as I stood, helpless watching my passage to America disappear in the distance. (Much later)I began to calm down and work through the paperwork and arrangemements I needed to make- I felt God’s comfort and provision. This quote came to mind:

“Meanwhile, little people like you and me, if our prayers are sometimes granted, beyond all hope and probability, had better not draw hasty conclusions to our own advantage. If we were stronger, we might be less tenderly treated. If we were braver, we might be sent, with far less help, to defend far more desperate posts in the great battle.” -CS Lewis

I had written it a week or so ago in a card I gave to Matt. I spent another unexpected day completely alone in Mexico. Time to pause in His solace and explore the city in sandals.

I won’t try to convince you that I handled the situation with grace or with the complete trust that others (stronger than I) might have exhibited. In fact, I was admittedly scared, vulnerable and lost. But, emotionally and physically drained, I returned to Ohio yesterday (still without luggage) and I faced a difficult retort to my hysterically-handled mishap. On the phone he offhandedly says, “Do you really think you can work on the mission field?” In criticism of how I handled my frustrating week abroad. And I am left silent. I am no mere mortal but ONLY human, right? I am hurt, crushed(?). Is this past week evidence of my (in)ability to be an effective tool on the mission field? No response. I am off guard.

“What seem our worst prayers may really be, in God’s eyes, our best. Those, I mean, which are least supported by devotional feeling. For these may come from a deeper level than feeling. God sometimes seems to speak to us most intimately when he catches us, as it were, off our guard.” -C. S. Lewis

God- in all my failures, faults, misdeeds, defeats, presage– with my Achilles’ heel, my catch 22– can You not still make use of me? With the chinks in my armor and the ugly lumps in the clay I call ‘myself’, are You not still greater?

“Some people feel guilty about their anxieties and regard them as a defect of faith but they are afflictions, not sins. Like all afflictions, they are, if we can so take them, our share in the passion of Christ.” -C. S. Lewis

But I reflect on the good parts:

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One Response to “22”

  1. Schmanda said

    question: “Is this past week evidence of my (in)ability to be an effective tool on the mission field?”

    answer: i hope so.

    IN YOUR WEAKNESS I AM STRONG.

    God said “go”, He never said “be able”.

    Isaiah said, “Here I am, send me”, not “i’m ready and prepared.”

    REMEMBER…YOU ARE A TOOL. A TOOL CAN DO NOTHING, BUT ONLY DOES ITS WORK BY THE HAND OF THE ONE SKILLED IN USING IT.

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