I just spent three wonderful days away in a little bubble. No technology, no responsibilities, no distractions.
Just me, my friend Stephanie, our three boys, and a campsite.
No plans besides feeding hungry bellies when they grumbled. We knit. We talked. We watched boys be boys. The hatchet was overused and the dirt was ever-present, but what did it matter?
We drove a boat.
We swam in a lake.
We ate hot dogs and s’mores.
We threw rocks.
We slept sardined together in a tent.
I whispered and giggled with my girlfriend like we were teenagers. There were tears, too.
Because there is something happening this summer that doesn’t have words.
And I got to feel it and be it and inspect it and admire it and cry over it and investigate it and wonder at it and be frustrated with it and just…be.
And to be unexpectedly joined on this journey by a friend is beyond what I ever thought.
Because often my life feels like a solo journey that I narrate to others.
But it’s not.
I have Someone who knows me intimately. And sometimes my soul gets to connect with another He knows just as well. And those moments are so beautiful they hurt.
And then I came home with topsy-turvy thoughts and so many questions. The answers outpace my patience.
And so here I am, rested and energized, scared and confused. And I found myself wholly alone again. Stephanie and her son went home. Little Man left for a few days, too. It was just me and Soccer Boy.
So we sat and watched the Jesus film in his language together. I deliberately didn’t watch it in English beforehand because I wanted to experience it with him. I wanted to understand how it felt to be him for a bit.
It was fascinating to see familiar stories and follow the basic idea of something but only be able to catch a few words here and there I knew. I wanted to shout them out when I heard them. I did once or twice, and he smiled at me.
No wonder he shouts in stores.
And I realized that this is sort of what hosting is like. It is participating in something that feels familiar but is incomprehensible. It is getting the gist of the story and wanting to shout when a word or a breakthrough or a beloved moment happens. It is knowing that not everyone wants to sit through the whole thing, and they certainly won’t understand the random shouts of excitement. But it is also having the treasure of a child, of a few blessed friends, of past and current hosters, who will smile with you….because they know.
But most of all, it is having Christ.
It is having Christ in an experience that feels familiar and foreign and topsy-turvy. It is letting Christ reorient your world.
But in the end, it is still the Christ I know. The language doesn’t matter. Truth translates. So does unconditional love.
And because of that love, which is reorienting my life in new and exciting and confusing ways, I will never be the same.