I'm finally back. We just took a big vacation. Although we were gone for ten days, we probably only spent under two days actually relaxing. But those hours were precious. It's amazing how good it feels to sit under towering pine trees and just read. Or kick back with my husband and watch our son play on the beach. Or view a thunderstorm from the 18th floor of a hotel. We saw a lot of old friends and friends as well, which was also worth it.
Now we return to our work. It's a bit of a struggle facing dirty dishes and the mess that Jacob leaves in his wake. Seems like just after I clean up another mess is made. Not always the most satisfying of work. Tomorrow I have four hours to try and get at some number crunching and accounting. I'm worried that there won't be enough time and then when will I get any more? It seems like every time I attempt to do that I run into some sort of problem that derails me and by the time I can get back to it, I've lost all momentum and it seem doubly difficult. It can be so frustrating being a mom in that so many things remain undone. And yet taking care of my son is so much fun most of the time. If only my only responsibility were that, then I wouldn't have to worry about these other things.
We went to Bethlehem Aboriginal Fellowship on Sunday. My first thought was: "what a letdown". Very few people there, the main pastor wasn't speaking, and there were having testimonials instead of a sermon. Very quickly, I was convicted of how accustomed I've become to a certain amount of polish and image. But how necessary is that anyways? The three people who spoke were completely themselves and in a word, refreshing. Not the best public speakers, certainly, but genuine and simple. Instead of making me comfortable, they challenged me with my lack of faith, love, courage, passion, and knowledge of God's Word. I felt completely stripped of all pretense. Where I used to feel numb, I felt raw, like after a penetrating massage.
It wasn't the powerful, amazing service that, for some reason, I had anticipated; but God was there in the plainness of it all. There was nowhere for me or Him to hide. He was there, listening to the woman crying out in the middle of the service "no one took care of me..." He was there in the compassionate women who responded to her cry. He was there as a young man spoke of his struggle to continue strong in his faith even though the passion and excitement had waned, and brought Scripture after Scripture to my attention. He was there in the man whose "Amen's" and "that's right's" conveyed a depth of faith and contentment in spite of his extensive physical limitations.
I realized how shallow I am. How concerned with appearance. How wounded I am, although I've tried to cover it with a big Band-Aid. And I realized how great God is. His transforming power is limitless. His provisions are enough. He still heals those with wounds. His love overflows. I'm thankful for the way he spoke to me and humbled me.