Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Missionary Meets Monotony


It's been six months since we left Africa. 

Six months since I put a sandaled foot on her and breathed her sweet, smoky air after a hard rain.

I'm starting to have a routine, starting to have an order to the chaos.

I like California. What's not to like about California? The weather. The people. It's pretty dang amazing.

I like my little one bedroom cottage apartment I live in.
Even my neighbors are nice. They remember to drag our trash to the curb when we forget because we're not used to organized garbage trucks.
Rules. Things like, only a certain amount of waste can go in the bucket, and it can't be overflowing, or they'll reject it.

That's weird.
I like being able to work out and juice things.

But well, I'm bored.

I know, it sounds crazy. Isn't this what everyone wants? A home. A great husband. Maybe throw some kids in there.

But after six years of living desperate and going from one drama to another, and solving problems I didn't have answers for, and loving past what I thought was possible, and giving until my body gave out, this normalcy, this rest, is like a foreign bubble I'm not sure I want enveloping me.

Like it's going to put me to sleep.

I think the hardest part is feeling closer to God. Craving the adventure with Him.
But finding myself under a pile of laundry and emails.

Wanting Him. But trying to find a way to connect to him here, in this maze of mini-vans and self-serving pleasure.

The biggest difference is every morning I woke up in Uganda, I needed him with a hunger that was never satisfied because I was living outside what was possible for me, alone.

It's not so much the place, but the mission.
The dream bigger than our dreams.

Don't get me wrong---I'm busy. I have mountains of to do lists scrawled out on papers, and hammered into my Iphone. Every day with this ministry, there are more things to do, then get done.

But yesterday, talking to my country director over Skype--supporting her as she carries out this thing God built, I felt

jealous.

I look at the slideshow of my African family on my computer, and I crave those hugs. Crave those stories.

We can know we are supposed to be somewhere, before God bursts into our world with some new dream, but it doesn't make the in-between any easier. 

Here, coming alive is harder. We have to seek it out, a treasure not easily won.

God hasn't left me. And He hasn't left America.

I just need a new set of lenses to see Him. Make space for Him, where there isn't any.
Maybe that's my few moments on the back porch.
Maybe it's singing loud Jesus Culture songs in the car.
Maybe it's offering to help the mom with four kids in the checkout line.

Or maybe it's heading to Mammoth Lakes where I'm pretty sure God lives in all the jagged rocks, and lakes, and crevices there. Which is what I intend to do.

Hey, I'm still me. If it's not risky, it's not worth doing.

Where do you find Him?


(Ps-I'll post pics soon so you can be jealous :)

5 comments:

Fawn said...

I feel your pain.

Coming back to America from the Philippines was the hardest move I've ever experienced. Decades later it still hurts. The dynamic is multi-layered.

Part of it, is we were actually needed in other countries. That unconsciously feeds our ego.

When you're wired for adventure, it feeds our need for adrenalin. And then there's the hunger issue. In the 2/3's world people tend to be hungrier for God as they have little else.

In America we have been satiated with comfort, entertainment, consumerism,(America's holy trinity), that dulls our natural hunger for the transcendent.

One time a Nepali pastor visiting America, said to David Ruiz, "I can hardly wait to get back to the demons of Nepal!"

David said "What do you mean?" The pastor said; "In Nepal you can see the demons, you recognize them quickly. Here in America, they are much stronger, they are comfort, amusement, entertainment. They are much more compelling. I can hardly wait to get back."

Sarita Hartz said...

I totally agree Fawn, thanks for posting. :)

Jenny and Lee Childs said...

I hear you. Thanks for sharing.

Stuart said...

Sarita, The Nepali pastor was right. The demons of California are indeed powerful and difficult to confront. Moreover, the prophet is without honor among her own family and in her own country.

You return to the U.S. with 2 great gifts. The first is that unless you choose to renaturalize yourself, this is no longer your country. You are now from some other place.

The second is that the gifts of grace that Father imparted to you in Uganda, the ones you joyously received just so your could survive, they are all without repentance. You still own each and every one of those grace gifts. So, when you are asked now, here in the U.S. where you have been sent by Papa, to minister in accord with the measure of your grace, that is a much much greater measure than you have had before.

Human trafficing and sex slavery in California may look a bit different. The motives that led young girls and women to enslave themselves may be quite different than in Uganda. But, the fundamental spiritual warfare is the same. The prisons still require powerful weaponry to tear them down.

Do not allow your perception on monotony while Papa is acclimating you to the conditions on a new battlefield to distract you from the war.

Do not allow Father's call for you to pour spirit and life in to your husband and your children to be drownd out by filling your mind with wishes to be back where you once were. We, the Bride of Christ, need you and Tyson at your most powerful. We are very hungry for the powerful revelation that Jesus is imparting through the 2 of you.

Loving you both, deeply,

sbm

norm said...

Hello,
After 10 years back from Asia, I feel the pain of not fitting in even more after reading the comment of the Nepal missionary. My wife & I tried to bring China back with us when we adopted 2 children from there-one was found under a pile of rags-she's 21 now & our handicapped son is 22, but, both have been lulled to sleep in this US culture that we don't hate, but do abhor.The annointing is here with stonger demons!