There’s so much to catch up on. I’m in America for two months, and I still have those three weeks in New Zealand to blog about…and they were so awesome that they must be blogged about! But I’m going to do the Emily thing and write about something else that has brewed well in my mind.
In October I went on the aforementioned retreat in the Australian woods. The night I arrived I contracted an awful cold. I stubbornly refused to sleep any extra hours and went hiking. Before the rain came, I sat on the back porch underneath a tree with enormous pink flowers, and talked with God. He wasn’t very chatty, but when I finally gave Him the chance to put a word in edgewise He said what I did not expect.
“I just need to know why you told me it would be a while until I go to Ireland. I just need to know why I’m here.” I’d said. Then I took a deep breath and directed myself to what I considered a holy mindset. “I’m here to begin HOPE61, I’m here to share your heart for those vulnerable to trafficking, I’m here to—“ I continued listing ministry related ideas.
Finally, He told me the truth.
“You’re here to love me.”
I fought the acceptance of that statement, wanting something grander or logical. Really? He’d told me to “wait a while” for Europe, the place I’ve been burdened with since age seven, and to minister in Australia and New Zealand so I could…love Him? Couldn’t I do the same thing anywhere? Couldn’t I love Him in Ireland – a place that crushes me with a love for the people, a place He’s given me visions of so I know the spiritual bondage? Or in Italy, the place I’ve loved for years and plastered all over my bedroom walls, and where I’ve ached to share Him? Or even in Greece, the place I’d traveled to by proxy, obsessively eating and cooking Greek food, a place I’d always planned for “after Italy?”
Couldn’t I love Him just fine in those places? Instead He didn’t speak to me (I felt) for months and then I go on this retreat, get a cold, feel awful, and all He gives me is one sentence. What was He thinking? Really.
“You’re here to love me.”
I’m stubborn and rebellious and I’ll only get worse with age, but after all we’ve been through together, all He’s saved me from and the ways He’s loved me and even given me eternity, all the holiness He embodies and the worship He’s owed – even I can’t deny His words for long. I stopped fighting and looked up at the sky, clouds moving by the gaps in the tree. Even the most fervent kind of missions work doesn’t matter if He isn’t known and loved. If I’m not in relationship with Him, I have no right to speak as one commissioned by Him. At the end of everything, what do I really want in life? There’s one thing that matters more than Europe, than any burden I’ve ever had, anything I still dare to hope for. There’s one thing that is the best thing. The One.
I’ve come to Australia. I’ve come to New Zealand. And I’m here to love You.