This weekend, we left our house. It was decided at one of many breaking points on Thursday: we needed to get out for a bit.
Out of the chaos, out of the sadness, out of the burdens, out of the pain.
Recently we’ve been asking ourselves often (more and more often): all of this is worth something, right?
Sometimes, I can’t imagine a harder road we could have chosen. Of course there are so many horrible, painful roads we don’t choose–cancer and miscarriages and poverty and death and infertility. There is so much outside of our control, and it is often painful and challenging. But, I have continually wrestled with the choice involved in living here—the choice to be away from family and familiarity, the choice to live in what we affectionately call “the armpit of Thailand,” and the choice to live amongst poverty, choosing to befriend and hear the stories of suffering day after day.
We do it because it’s something God has put on our hearts; we do it because we love this people group, we love this little community, and somehow we even love this town. We do it because of Jesus and the coming Kingdom. We do it because we hope that God will use us and our lives to bring truth and grace and love into the lives of this little community in the middle of nowhere.
With Jesus, it is full of potential for a beautiful story. It is just bursting with prospects for sustainable businesses and bible studies and conversations over tea!
But if you take away the hope and Jesus, it’s just crazy.
So some days, when fear sets in, I wonder: what if God chooses not to answer all these prayers for this community? What if all the efforts to show love, well, don’t? What if that time I think I shared my heart with them and I think they understand why we are doing this, well, what if I said something entirely different? What if they understood something entirely different?
I could go on. The questions are truly endless, but ultimately end in: what if God isn’t in this, and then it is nothing more than crazy?
I never realized how close Jesus is to crazy.
But I read that “faith is…the conviction of things not seen” in Hebrews 11 and “hope that is seen is not hope” in Romans 8. I start to think that faith and hope and love, to be truly faith, hope, and love must be a wee bit close to what we might call crazy.
Earlier this week, in a similar moment of breaking, we had stopped to pray amidst a hectic day and a hoard of shouting children outside our house. Stephen noted, “It says that God is in the still small voice, and sometimes I just don’t know if we can hear that with all this shouting.”
And so we found ourselves this weekend, sitting in a hotel less than a kilometer from our house, paying $16 a night for the solace to pray, the silence to listen, and the hope to see the thin grey line between Jesus and crazy.