Tuesday, March 28, 2017

front lines

I feel a little like I might be limping to the finish line of our ministry-laden March, but we are certain to finish it out in due course, right?  

There are things about working in ministry on the Rez that are really difficult to put into words but I know they must be real because I'm not the only one who experiences it.  Sometimes I think, "I really want to write about this" so I can share and hopefully encourage and challenge others to see God's faithfulness, but when I try to write, the thoughts and concepts are so tangled that I don't often know where to start. {And in my effort to be realistic, I also sometimes feel like I end up with a "downer" of a post, or that I'm going to sound really depressed when I'm not.  After gradually easing into the knowing of these things you kind of learn to live with the knowing of them without being constantly devastated by the brokenness it reveals.}

 Someone recently said to me, "I did not know what true spiritual warfare was until my first trip to the reservation."  Whew!  Sometimes I convince myself I am imagining the dark cloud of difficulty or even sorrow that gathers.  Sometimes the struggle is my own doing, consequences for choices I'm making about my sleep, my attitude, my habits.   Sometimes it's sorrow directly related to sorrow over things I carry now, things I know. Sometimes the struggle is clearly a direct attempt to discourage and disable: opposition.  

We know that as God's children we have an enemy.  We know that when we are engaging in the front lines of ministry the enemy would surely rather us not be successful.  We know that the enemy of our souls prowls like a lion seeking to devour.  We also know we have nothing to fear because of the lover of our souls.  Here on the Rez we are without a doubt on the front lines of the Kingdom of God.  Our lives intentionally center around serving and loving "the least of these" within a people group that is so marginalized that many people talk about them in the past tense. "When the Indians lived..."  "The Indians did..."  

I believe God protects our church family mightily from deep darkness all around.  I believe He completely controls the suffering His children encounter and experience.  I believe He means all of the things we walk through to be for our good - no, not an abstract version of "good"-  He has in mind the deepest, most beautiful healing of our selves.

Bear in mind that as I write these things I am thinking of children I have seen recently with suspicious bruises.  Of a child who never has adequate clothing for the weather.  Of a young mom I came in contact with today who told me her brother passed away in a fatal car wreck in her own car last week.  I'm thinking of children who haven't got any running water at their house; of a family with several precious children that didn't even have a door on their house for a significant part of last year; of a couple that lived in a tent last summer and now live in an RV with a leaky roof.  

I'm also thinking of how the Lord has met each of those scenarios with His love now and His promise of care for the future.  How the children I worry over have tasted the goodness of His love and safety through the church.  How the mother got a listening ear and got to see her young children having fun in a safe place today.  How the children without water have had showers and care at the home of some of our friends.  How the missing door was replaced by some of the men from our church, and how the man and woman in the RV can have a double understanding of what it is like to be cared for by the Lord, an understanding I may never fully grasp in this lifetime.  His healing touch is merciful and perfect in His time.   

I can say that all our experiences are meant for the healing of our souls because He promises it, not because I never doubt it.  Sometimes I can't touch that in my mind, sometimes my heart is too broken to land on the truth of His goodness, and then I do sob.  But soon the reminders come: This world is not our home.  This sorrow is fleeting.  Jesus knows our every weakness. Jesus loves the little children.  Jesus suffered first for us. Joy comes in the morning.  

"Come then, my beloved, my lovely one come.
For see, winter is past, the rains are over and gone." (NJB Song of Solomon 2:10)


I am working on Lyddie's Suzanne sweater in KnitPicks DK Swish.  Her chest measurement is small so I am knitting a smaller size but forgot to adjust the sleeve length and just had to rip it back to increase the length of the sleeve.  The multicolored yarn was a beautiful gift from a sweet reader here and I can't wait to plan a project for it - possibly a sweater for Millie next.  


  1. Your life and your ministry sound fulfilling for you, that is wonderful. Gorgeous photos and gorgeous glimpses of your knitting.

  2. I love the girls' haircuts!