The Body of Jesus that I didn’t want.

The Body of Jesus that I didn’t want.

I ducked my head into the darkness of the 2 room house. Pieces of tin, reeds packed with mud, a few stones placed here and there, tarps and pieces of fabric to close openings... this was the “house”. House is a generous word.

My eyes adjusted to the darkness and I could see a small table with several pieces of cookware, plastic bowls, a container of water. A young woman and mother, just twenty years old, smiled and welcomed us into her home. Her 2 younger brothers, neither in their teens, looked on quietly from the corner. Her 5 year old daughter clung to her mama’s leg. We learned that her husband was long gone. Her mother had recently died as well.

Trusting Jesus with someone else's heart.

Trusting Jesus with someone else's heart.

9/11 is a day that everyone knows.  It involves terrorists, planes and tragedy. It’s hard to think of anything else on that day, but Jesus decided to change that for our family in 2003.  It all happened over several long hours of labor.  Not my labor.  In fact, I was worthless.  I was full of worry, anxiety, anticipation and realized I could do nothing to affect the course of events in that hospital room.  So I tried to stay out of the way.  I offered up a couple of “Good job” moments, but I knew better than to push any buttons or scrub in.

The Babushka, the Squeeze Cheese, and Me.

The Babushka, the Squeeze Cheese, and Me.

I was 19 years old and I had just finished my first full year as a college soccer player.  I was in the best shape of my life and could still eat 10 tacos from Taco Bell.  I was traveling with the Wheaton College soccer team on a mission trip to Russia and Poland.  I was only a freshmen and hadn’t been a stand-out player in high school, so I was under no illusion that it would be different in college.  I was just happy to be on the team and learned a lot from the guys around me who were really good.

No... I don’t want to buy your postcards, little girl.

No... I don’t want to buy your postcards, little girl.

I had been on mission trips before, so I was used to a little culture shock.  The standard list of “do’s and don’ts” drilled into your head from a youth leader on how to behave, how not to offend, what not to buy, etc. - were all rolling around in my head.  Even as the sights, sounds and smells of Ho Chi Minh City overwhelmed us on the street in front of our hotel, I was ready to resist.

A Resurrection Campfire.

A Resurrection Campfire.

Faith is the evidence of things not seen, but oh how I wish it was the other way around.  We like tangible things.  At least, I do.  I am pretty certain that Thomas and I would have been friends.  I wear my emotions on my sleeve  just like he did.  I get sad or depressed and it can easily come out as anger or frustration.  I can jump from calm to storm in a matter of seconds - all from a minor circumstance.  I don’t particularly like that part of me.  I know others have made sure that I know they don’t like it either.  I wish it were different, but hey… sanctification and all.  But Thomas and I would be friends and I would have wanted what he wanted.  Ideal version of me wouldn’t have shown up.  Angry, frustrated Chad would have been on the scene wanting real evidence.  Give me proof, Jesus.