Monday, June 14, 2010


It's mid-June, and for some perspective, should all my support be raised in time, I'll be leaving this country in two months. And yet it doesn't feel that short. I know how quickly it will fly by and so the thought is that I should be celebrating these last few months, living fully in them.

This summer hasn't felt like a last, not by any means. It just feels like a summer. One where God is working a lot of good things. Most of this has been through people and situations that aren't here, my attention between a God who is here and now and is also there, was, will be. That's a mess of a sentence, but in the same way worship is deeply freeing because it's not about me, there is rest for my mind and my worrying heart and my frustrating over-introspection when I remember that God is working things apart from me. When I think of my brother and wonder what resolution might look like for him--now it occurs to me that it may happen entirely apart from me. I know this, and as obvious as it is, it's good to think about. My brother is a whole life created by the God who knows his story, knows his hopes, knows him better than I ever will and the redemption of that boy has to do fully with how he is known by God, not by how he's known by me.

Just now I'm reminded of the story in Mark where Jesus talks about his mothers and brothers and sisters are the people who do his will. He's my brother and he always will be and I say that fiercely. But my friend Scott is my brother, and so is my friend Chris. Wayne, the homeless man who kissed me on the hand the other day--he's my brother. If my brother is homeless, there are homeless people in this city, there will be in Bucuresti. I don't think this means I should abandon family ties or anything like that. And in any case, Luke 12:27-28: "Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more he will clothe you, O you of little faith!" Surely if this is true for me then it is also true for my brother.

I remember when we were kids--I was fourteen, he was eleven--we would ride our bikes all the time. The difference between us then is, at least to me, fascinating compared to the differences now. He'd get on his bike with a helmet, elbow pads, knee pads, all of it, and then ride down the side of the highway, pedaling furiously against traffic. I was the opposite. I might not be wearing shoes, much less a helmet. I don't remember much from that summer except how we'd fly down the hills and around corners, all the stops along the way: the concrete house, the path to the river beneath the bridge, the gas station. And I remember eating at the neighbor's a lot, but not where our mom was.

The point I'm getting to is how I don't remember worrying. If I think back on it, there was a lot to worry about. The other day I had this crazy moment with God when I realized--heart-realized, not head-realized--how much he was providing over all those years. I think we ask why I lot. I know I do. I don't know about my brother. But more and more and more I'm understanding just how big God's sovereignty is, how far-reaching a thing it is. When I look back, I see: God was here. When I look back after having said yes to God, I see: he really does know what he's doing. Shocker, I'm sure, but knowing it is something else entirely. I never knew.

I feel at once that I am both tasked to care for and love my brother(s) and also understand that he is better cared for by his Father than I ever could. I remember us as kids, hardly thinking of God at all, and still he clothed us in joy and fullness, in a perfect summer together.

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