Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Church Community Blesses Us Again

I knelt down with Maddix to my side as I bumbled the uncooperative tape on cheap poster-board and a flimsy pointed stick.  The 'A' had slumped on our colorful sign reading "G_RAGE SALE".  In back were tables of things from our closets and drawers.  Shoes.  Bowls.  Books.  VHS tapes.  We felt strangely emotional as we dug through the dark corners of our home and pulled out the unnecessary weight of garage sale items.  I say weight because we also felt a sense of relief in seeing the dark corners with nothing there.  Less is more. 

I remember returning to the driveway from a lap around our neighborhood checking our signs in the moderate wind.  As I strolled toward the back I passed a man turning a pair of my old gloves over in his hand.  His face scowled at the gloves.  My gloves.  At that moment I felt something of what Jade had been feeling over the last few days of preparation: sorrow.

There is much to be said about the instruction of Christ to the rich man in Mark 10, "go, sell everything...".  There is also a lot to say about the response of the Metz family.  As I consider this, I have resolved to two questions.  First, have we spiritually sold everything?  Second, if we have, have we done so in love of Him?  I think our family can say, with trembling hands at times, "yes".

We are so thankful for friends who came and bought a little something here or a little something there.  You tried to be sneaky but we figured you out.  We know that many of you came, not for an old hat or a used children's toy, but in support of a family you love.  And we love you too.  We are so encouraged to be a part of a community that stands behind us with prayer and visible, meaningful actions that make us feel wanted.  Our G_RAGE SALE was a bittersweet success but we are thankful for great friends that make this process so much easier.

Then there is this.  We no sooner finished our garage sale than we were packing our bags for Colorado.  It has been posted on this blog before, how the Church community has blessed us with more than just a pat on the back and a check toward our missionary account.  We love the Church!  Some very dear friends of ours asked if we could use a rest.  We said, "yes" but I don't think either one of us realized how much we really did.  Kids at the babysitter.  Drive to Indy.  Get on a plane.  Land in Colorado.  Van ride up, up, up into the mountains.  Arrive at hotel.  "Hi, friends!"  Pajamas in front of the fireplace.  Food.  Hiking.  Lots of statements like, "can you believe we are doing this!?!"

In the time away Jade and I found beautiful rest, necessary reconnecting, stress relief and spiritual growth.  We were encouraged through prayer and time with Godly people.  On the first full day the two men hiked (while the ladies shopped) 3.5 miles up to Mohawk Lake at 11,500 feet.  Yes, oxygen was a problem.  No, I'm not in shape for that kind of hike.  But at the top, at our 'summit', I pulled out my journal and wrote some thoughts and prayed as I admired a view unlike anything I had seen before.

Near the end of our trip Jade and I discussed the life we were about to return to.  There was a sense of great enthusiasm about how we viewed that return.  We were ready to get back!  Many times it seems the last days of our rest often dawn with a gloomy cloud of disappointment.  While we did thoroughly enjoy the time away we were in no way disappointed to come back.  God has blessed us with a mission and in His incredible compassion He has infused us with a desire for that mission.  At our very depths we want what God wants.  As such, our return to Indiana was a joyful reunion with the objectives God has placed before us.  Yet, resulting from our rest, God's objectives were now supported with bright-eyed energy.

Which brings me to right now.  On the top of my mind is the big $700 a month matching grant we have babbled about for months.  It's  on it's final leg and will be over on November 5th, five days from this posting.  Soon we will be posting pictures from Uganda and telling stories about how God is using us for His glory on the other side of the world.  Will you be a part of it?  Will you send us there?  Will you tell your friends about this mission?  Join us!  

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