Just a collection of things floating around in my head lately.
The first one has to do with knowing people and being known. It's been something difficult here from the very outset with a wall of language I'm still learning to climb. But I've been realizing lately that it's not just this. I had a conversation with a coworker the other day about how it's a lot harder to hang out casually here--it takes forever to get across the city, there don't seem to be places where you run into people all the time like you might on a college campus in the States--and so if it's not planned, and that around people's crazy schedule, it may just not happen. How do you really get to know people in this context?
I'm thinking about this because it's a large part of my job. And personally it's hard not having the sorts of relationships with friends I had in Wilmington. But then in the metro on the way to OSCEB the other night, I started to think about how we are known by God, how the desire to know and be known stems from this. Immediately Psalm 139 comes to mind. What does it mean to be known by God? How are we known? And etc. Just thinking through all that. And then this quote by Alex Kirk himself:
"We are, in the end, conflicted creatures--about all our relationships, God included. Our deepest longing is to be known and loved and yet it takes more courage than any of us has to enter in relationships of true knowing and loving."
What else? Today at church a man who works with prisoners here in Romania spoke a little. I talked with him afterward, heard about the work he's doing. It's good stuff. It's funny how God works--here these last few days especially I've been worrying about my brother, waiting on some kind of news that won't change, and God reminds me that he is being made known there too. And so we prayed for peace and encouragement, for his Spirit to be with them, certain that there is no man beyond redemption. I prayed not only for my brother but for people here in Romania, remembering the sorts of things God did when Paul was in jail, learning what he's doing here now. Something to be said for perspective, for sure.
And then last Wednesday I went to Pitesti and ended up being asked to talk a little/give a small devotional (in Romanian!) with about ten minutes time to prepare. One more reason having a blog or journal is helpful: if you are suddenly called on to do something like this, your thoughts are already organized! All you have to do is think of how to say it in Romanian and pray a whole ton, and instead of throwing up when you begin to speak, it will come easily and you won't even shake. Small miracles, people. The interesting thing was that, while I spoke out of my own experience as of late, just the first thing that really came to mind, all the songs we sang during worship were on the same theme. It's neat to see how God will orchestrate things like that.
There's more, most of it tangled, waiting to be written out so the threads and themes will suddenly appear. Looking forward to that. Until then--