I'm on a journey with a set destination. Heaven! I want to journey well and bless those traveling alongside me. I don't want to sit - I want to make progress - everyday. But I know, I must feel the brush of His Robes, or I'll never make the climb. This blog will chronicle my journey, but more importantly, it will share my moments of reaching for the Robes of Christ.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
I know this looks dangerous... but... it's really not.
Still laughing over that man of mine's
We're headed down one of Kenya's many
treacherous roads when the black fumes boiling out the tailpipe of
the slow moving truck in front of us presses us to either pass or
suffocate. Then out of no where an eighteen wheeler moving far too
fast for the weight it's carrying passes the car headed in our
direction. And within seconds, we find ourselves barreling head-on
towards the mass of metal surely 10 times our size. My favorite
fella' then calmly says, “Honey, I know this looks dangerous... (as
I hold my breath and grab the handgrip in front of me)... but... it's
Cool and calm ---- he smiles and
maneuvers our Lori-car masterfully, tucking us securely in the safety
of our lane with seconds to spare.
The intensity of the moment followed by
the desired result ( safe passage) caused us both to erupt into
boisterous laughter. That nervous kind of JOY laughter that comes
when air flows back into previously emptied lungs.
And I repeated his words back to him
over and over again as the madness of the drive on these unruly,
hole-filled, donkey/sheep/goat/cow framed roads continued.
We've learned to laugh.
We've also learned to drive in new
ways. (Very careful, defensive ways.)
You have to.
And, we pray more than ever before.
Truthfully, it is dangerous to drive on
these raucous, unruly Kenyan roads.
But when he said, “I know this looks
dangerous... but... it's really not,” it sent my mind on a journey
of its own.
We waited at the bottom of the
escalator, behind the two ladies and three little girls. Unsure of
why they were hesitating, we inched closer. The ladies were talking
in swift swahili trying to encourage the little ones to step onto the
moving stairs, but the girls were terrified. And I thought to myself
---- “Honeys, I know this looks dangerous... but... it's not.”
We smiled with a look of reassurance as
we slowly stepped around them and showed them what it looked like
after taking that first daunting step. With big eyes, they watched us
ascend, and then slowly brought their round eyes back down to the
unnaturalness of moving stairs.
Making our safe passage up to the next
level, we looked over the high railing to encourage them on. And they
did it, they took that first step. We cheered, they cheered, fear had
been beaten and the ride was underway.
After Bible study time with the ladies
in the slum, the rains were threatening and the thunder rolled. We
knew the ladies would get soaked through and through as they walked
back to their huts so far from the place where we gather each Friday,
so we offered to carry them home instead. It's comical really, how
many Kenyan ladies you can pack into one vehicle, especially when
trying to beat the rains. As they filed into the car, it left no room
for our son, Peter. But he soon found a solid solution, he would ride
on the back of a friend's motorcycle who planned to follow us home to
borrow a book. We looked at the looming clouds, listened to the angry
rumbles, and prayed. There was no other option really. We couldn't
strand the ladies as they carried babies on their backs and little
ones in their arms. And our mostly grown son was all up for the quick
ride through rushing traffic under threatening skies. Letting go and
trusting the One who loves most, it's a must, not an option. And it
came to me later, “donna, I know that looked dangerous... but...
really it wasn't”. Not because of the logical conclusion or
measured risks involved, but only because of the nearness of God and
His great care. 1 Peter 5:7 in the Message translation sings to me in
those moments, “Live carefree before GOD, HE is most careful with
(note: the Word does not say we should
live carelessly ---- but rather “carefree” AND
Can you find the mzungu?
These words are being typed while
sitting in the Amsterdam airport. Just days prior we'd received another warning
was sent out to Americans living in Kenya, a warning from the US
Embassy, cautioning Americans to be alert and aware, terrorist
threats had increased.
Eleven hours ago I let go of my Steve's
hand, hugged Peter tight and stepped through the security gates of
the Nairobi airport. And I whispered to myself those same words, “i
know this looks dangerous... but... it's not.” Even though the
Embassy had warned of the potential danger, I reminded myself of the
Truth (live “carefree” before God --- He is most careful with
Things around us can look treacherous
and ominous. Our Lord even tells us straight up --- “in this world
you will have trouble...” We shouldn't be surprised when it comes.
It's not a matter of “if” it's soundly a matter of “when”.
But we people, we try to control the
percentages very closely. I've lived most all my life trying to
manage the possibilities carefully --- to try and keep the
opportunities for trouble slim and manageable (if at all possible).
And i've learned that I can stay inside
controlled parameters and minimize risk, but then i'm rarely in the
places where God wants to touch and speak and share and love and help
and be – through me.
Stepping into places of intense, known
danger on our own, without God's cover and guard ---- well, that's
NOT what i'm talking about here at all.
There are places we are simply not
suppose to be, things we are not suppose to do.
For each of us, those lines are defined
differently ---- and they should be, according to why we are here,
what God has purposed in us.
But we should never, ever forget ----
“we are fearfully and wonderfully made” – and there's a reason
for that gift.
There's a wide swing here between
scared and hiding --------------to looking for danger and running
full speed into it.
And somewhere in the middle of that
God-held swing is a sweet spot where we breathe air designed for our
lungs to inhale.
It's not the stale, stagnant air found
in boxes that hold us in. Likewise it's not the treacherous,
oxygen-void air found in the heat of the fire or heights of the
atmosphere we were not designed to endure.
But instead, it's the aroma filled air
in the wide open spaces of obeying and being exactly where the One
who made us has called us to be.
In the eyes of the world, it could
often be said, “That looks too dangerous...”
But if God is with us ----- doesn't His
Word say ----- “who can be against us”.
Do we believe that? Or is it just one
of those verses we use when it fits with what we might be trying to
convey at the time? Is it a verse of convenience? Or His Word for our
These words don't flow out of me with
some sideways agenda to try and get people to step into dangerous,
adventurous places. No. These words come out of me as I daily reach
for His Robe and say, “Oh Lord, I feel too weak. It might be
easy-peasy for other people to fly all over the world alone and drive
on crazy roads so far from home. But you know me, i'm Your little
girl, and you know it feels a little odd (and dare I say a bit crazy)
for me to be found in these sort of places. So, I have to be honest
Lord, with you, and say, i'm holding on to you with everything i've
got. Cause you know Lord, to my eyes, this looks like it might be
dangerous... but i'm hearing your still, small voice whispering in my
soul ----- 'Yes donna, I know this looks dangerous... but... with
me... it's not.'”
And so, like the little girl at the
bottom of the escalator, i've watched others step into the
unnaturalness of places that seemed wildly dangerous to me. And i've
seen them move to new places, higher places, with smiles on their
faces and peace in their eyes. And i've heard you calling from above,
looking over High rails in the Heavenlies and encouraging me on. So
day after day, i'll keep stepping where you tell me to -------
thankful beyond words that ------ I always find you there in those
illogical, unnatural places (where stairs should be still, but they
are moving instead) ---- doing the things that can only be done by