On the Road Again with the Rag Tag Band

???????????????????????????????I have traveled thirty times are so with willing souls to far places to serve with some of God’s best people in a variety of ways.  These are normally called mission trips.  It is beginning to occur to me my nomenclature may be misguided.

This year’s traveling team is made up of an excited group of persons headed to the island of Eleuthera, one of the 700 islands that make up the Bahamian nation.  They have eagerly anticipated making this trip because it is a return trip, a year later.  They grew fond of the persons they served with last year; fueling a familiarity that simply feels good.

So, one by one, those who went last year signed up, except for a few new ones who took the place of those who could not attend.  These are wonderful folk who simply said yes, despite each of us having our own obvious and some not so obvious places in need of work.  Here is the roster of the willing:???????????????????????????????

-Steve, a truck driver, whose impetuousness oozes so much out of his skin that everyone admires his heart, even when his words come too quickly.

-David, a welder, whose steadiness could make tight rope walker appear wobbly, though wondering how he might once again find steady employment in the twilight of his working years.

-Mary, the singer of many songs, who serves others while learning to integrate a grief that still lingers from the loss of her spouse; yet also learning a new song for a new day.

-Garrett, our new youth leader, who is our able bodied one; making new connections as he carefully walks with new people into new places.

-Sharon, our veteran missioner, who has said yes for so long to adventures like this, that it would be understandable for her to say no, as she approaches her maturing years with limits we know or will sooner than we might imagine.

???????????????????????????????-Tracy, whose quiet faith speaks loudly.  He said yes to this trip after experiencing a windfall to cover the costs of the trip, despite uncertainties at his own place of employment.

-Joy, whose recent circumstances cause others call her Job; recovering from a less than week old assault that makes walking more difficult for her than an advanced calculus problem.

-Me, their spiritual leader, at the helm with wounds and scars that keep me humble enough to remember it is just as much a privilege to guide this little rag tag band as it is to lead a Sunday morning congregation.

Here we are in a far off place.  Is this really a far off place?  I prefer to call it a new neighborhood.  We traveled in a metal tube at 450 mph for 1300 miles in little more than a half of day to touch down to eat, work and play with our new neighbors in Hatchet Bay, Governors Harbor, Bahamas.???????????????????????????????

Here we are on a mission trip.  Is this really mission trip?  I prefer to call it a rehabilitative trip.  All things stands in need of being renewed-the houses we work on each day, the relationships we nurture, and even our own souls we offer.  The more mending we do the stronger we become.

So, we are here in this picturesque new neighborhood, patching up the interior of a house while connecting ourselves to new friends.  Somehow our work works on us too; doing the needed rehabilitative work our souls need to maintain spiritual health.

Ruthie Foster sings Heal Yourself:

You were born in the back seat of America, And you pride yourself in sharing her.

Taught to work to please and pray on your knees.

You pay for your cheap grace with your nominal fees.

Better heal yourself, child. –Heal yourself.  Think about healing yourself.

???????????????????????????????Our little rag-tag group is not thinking about healing; it is happening to each one of us whether it can be seen or not.  Grace becomes amazing when we encounter new places and people with an open heart that is willing to be made whole.

Published in: on November 13, 2013 at 4:48 am  Leave a Comment  

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