The day after Christmas. Always a conflicting clean-up. It's the collusion of the smell of charred lasagna sauce in the oven teaming with the half-burnt Yankee "Balsam & Cedar" aroma, that tells me I'm in the midst of another one of those "smelly" conspiracies. There's another collaboration going on too. My CD player with my favorite instrumental Christmas music (Fourplay "Snowbound") is in cahoots with my TV - blaring ESPN's re-broadcast of the Poinsettia Bowl LA Tech vs. TCU. Every possible sound wave in this house has the vibration of both! Another illegal tactic going on is the desperate cry of organic/healthy/wholesome foods in the frig working with the homemade chocolate chip cookie dough. They're both rival commodities in co-operation for their mutual benefit - to GET ME TO EAT IT ALL - no matter what it is! There's also evidence that our adult children were here. Day old dishes, twenty-five drinking glasses used once, and the cinnamon buns are GONE! I'm at war - to clean or not to clean! If I clean, there will be no evidence that yesterday happened.
I experienced a collusion of dark versus light during my recent trip to SEAsia. It's taken me weeks to process it all. I posted pictures, stories, events, smiles, and thoughts on Facebook, but stayed far away from actually talking about it all. Until now.
Every mission trip I'm told, does one of two things: Makes you glad you live in America or makes you sad you live in America. And for me, my Malaysian visit was truly a disruption of my equilibrium. The dark and light of human trafficking seen in the eyes of the Filopino, Cambodian and Indonesian girls, seared my heart. In one glimpse I had insider knowledge with private information. Most I cannot write about, but for today I want to simply say: It exposed me. Yes, ME. Exposed. I may not have been trafficked, raped, beat or sold into sex slavery, but I've walked the line of the sacred/sacrilege as a supposed good girl; a squeaky clean, visually wholesome example of Jesus. And to this, I could vomit.
I am not any of that. I have serious flaws. God has insider knowledge about who I really am. The colluding traders (the Holy Spirit and the prostitutes of Brookfields, Kuala Lumpur), have exposed me big time, revealing that I'm not nearly what I am or could be. I'm not worthy of an upcoming takeover, that's for sure. I appear to have it all, yet I have nothing. The inflation of my own life in ministry has worthless street value.
Knowing all this and understanding it even more, brings this cracked jar of clay into full view. Jesus is the defining factor for me and for my girls. We are ALL the same, both in darkness and in Light. I weep for joy! I can't thank my friend, Carrie, enough for inviting me to share my life with the girls. In many ways, these rescued ones are much more advanced than I when it comes to faith, courage and grace. I'll never forget Lyla (second from right) as we prayed and commissioned her return to Cambodia. She smiled and said, "I want to win my family and town for Jesus."
She will, because now - she's been bought with a much higher and precious price.
(Sidenote) How fun it was to watch old family videos yesterday with our adult children! Thanking God for the power of His presence, even in our past. And even as we grow old together, may we be mindful of all the changes, yet secure in knowing -the most important thing will never change.