So we drove a thousand kilometres to a seaside village in Mozambique.
We got to be part of a going that’s been going on for decades. People from two churches in two cities in South Africa have been doing life with a community of Mozambicans for more than twenty years. This wasn’t haves handing out to have-nots. This was friends visiting friends, to see God’s Kingdom come.
There’s tons I could share about our experience.
Like how something happens when we eat together, and when we travel together, which is why God commanded both. Break bread. Go and make disciples.
I could tell you that the Great Commission needn’t be creepy – the weird cold-calling of abrupt evangelism. It can be as un-awkward as asking someone about their business, their family. Having a laugh. Then saying something like, ‘Would you mind if I pray for your kids?’ Next thing you know they’re at the foot of the cross.
I could tell you how our own kids’ capacity and independence burgeoned in the space of a week. How we made about three dozen new friends and how some of them shared parts of their stories they’ve never dared to voice because spending a week together will do that.
I could tell you how many mosquitoes we slapped dead, how many cups of coffee we sipped on the stoep, how many rounds of This-Is-The-Game-Of-Indian-War-Signs we played, and how much we LAUGHED.
But I want to tell you about a day we visited a makeshift carpentry workshop, on the side of a road, under some trees. While the wind whipped up sawdust and hope, we prayed for the guys working there.
And they gave us gifts they’d made – wooden frames.
From there we went to the local maternity clinic.
I’d been there a couple days before – seen a woman in labour stagger through the dust – empty-handed – just leaning heavy on her friend to stem the tides of pain. I thought about how my husband drove me to a private hospital in the middle of the night when my waters broke. Suitcase neatly packed with tiny nappies and washed-and-ironed extra-everything.
And I wondered if God was showing me something – taking me back to basics. Because we have such a sanitized, sophisticated worldview. Such a sanitized, sophisticated take on the gospel. (Which is always offered inoffensively. With free WiFi. And a cappuccino.)
I wondered if God was saying to me,
Remember how it all started. A woman in labour, in the dirt. Remember how I spent my days. Hand-crafting beauty from wood even as someone was felling the tree I’d hang from.
And I thought about how Andy Crouch reckons for us to be really alive, we need to live with true authority – capacity for meaningful action – and true vulnerability – exposure to meaningful risk.
Jesus was the epitome of this: the God-man who acted meaningfully and decisively to alter the course of human history and all eternity, by being brave and vulnerable enough to expose Himself to the most meaningful risk imaginable.
We got home full of happy emptiness, as you do.
The wooden gift frame looked to me like it needed a mirror – not a photo or an artwork.
Maybe because I want to hang it up to hang on to the truth that we’re on the planet only ever to reflect the glory of the King of Kings.
And because I want my life to be framed by His purposes for me in the world as I follow Him into magnificent adventure.
Do you dare?
. . .
Wishing you a spectacular weekend, friend.
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