Jerusalem!

Here I am. Last night in the Holy Land. The old city of Jerusalem behind me. Just came out of the Jaffa Gate. So pretty at night. I was so sick in this shot, but so happy to have hoofed all over Jerusalem. I’m about to hop on the all-night flight home. Thanks, Roomie, for the pic!

martha in israel
Me, with my Dr. Who backpack that everyone asked me about. lol

 

gods become death

Worlds to disaster
Student surpasses master
When little gods die


Let me die a little way (every day)
So that I may be born in you
If idols die and God survives
Then all that is left is true

Heart is a Gypsy

Perfume and spices on the air as I wait in the string-lighted courtyard of our final banquet dinner. There are fires burning in the metal stand welcoming street strays. The smoke in my clothes and tearing eyes might as well be from sycamore limbs back home in Missouri. My heart is full and oh-so heavy knowing I might not see my new friends ever again. Wishing farewells and whispering fevered fantasies about moving across the globe to adopt new customs, cuisines and children. This could be my home. My heart is a gypsy. A Native American warrior heart nomadic as a tornado.

My heart so fragile. Powerful. Chaotic. Ready to rope out and lose its whirl at any moment. Yet overeager to jump and pump arteries-first into strange territory of emotion and relationship.

What to do with all this feeling? Love? Raw force of nature?

I love this country. I love these people.

Purple Balloon Boy.
Yellow Chair Girl.
Red-nose Rudy.
Pink-Jacket Joy.

I hope to share eternity with you, Friends. Stay with God and send Him with me and we shall meet again on different, distant shores. Still bright and glistening.

I saw a young girl in a hot-pink jacket take her first steps with the help of a pediatric walker. She strolled straight through our hearts with smiles and laughter into the outstretched hands of her own mother’s love. I got to see what love can do.

Physical therapists seating kids who need wheelchairs. Nurses treating gunshot wounds. Kind people ready to laugh and bring joy, handing out glasses.

Make the sick well. Give sight to the blind. Bind wounds. And make the lame walk to mother’s waiting arms. Miracles. In the land where Jesus walked.

Love did that. Love changed their world. My world. THE world.

“For God so loved the world…”

Please let me see this place again. Please let me feel this love again. This beautiful lump in my throat. Jumping unrestrained from my lashes. Down my cheeks in rolling, fat tears.

Don’t let me pass from this valley without your love, God.
How do I take this with me?

my prayers are

for i am gentle

103

sink stones

yellow chair angled

Dreamy Muffins

I had a dream the other night about one of my teammates from my Holy Land mission trip. I dreamed that he was running a charitable food pantry. They were offering a warm cup of coffee and a chocolate muffin cake for breakfast. It was a treetop cafe with high-top tables.

He welcomed me, asked me why I needed food from the food pantry and I explained. “We’re just having hard times right now and we need a little extra help.” (We’re actually doing okay right now! Not really working poor any more, but we are about one paycheck away from disaster if we had a medical emergency, yikes!) He understood.

He told me, “(Your roommate from the trip), has been praying for your return next year on the mission trip. She hopes you can come.” This man knows my roommate in real life. They attend the same church

It was a sweet dream of help and hope. With cloud-like, fluffy muffins! Best dream ever when chocolate’s involved.

*Harry, let’s call him* is certainly a Christ-like man who is kind, patient and gentle. He talks to anyone and welcomes everyone. He just has a peace about him and I appreciate his kindness and generosity, even in my dreams. He gave me a chance to share my story with the team since he was in charge of morning devotionals. He was so supportive on our trip. He gave everyone honey in the morning for their tea or bread at breakfast. Love you, Harry-bear! You’re as sweet as the honey you shared. [He used to own an apiary (bees! honey!)] We were definitely in the land of milk and honey when we traveled with Harry.

Sloppy Soup

They say a short memory is a blessing.

I feel blessed and cursed to have such a long, vivid memory. I always wanted to just keep the good and forget the bad.

But the brain is hot pot of chemicals and ingredients all sloshing together. All the memories, good and bad, bitter and sweet, cooking down and bubbling up to one tasty, rich soup of love.

That doesn’t mean you won’t have a messy kitchen from time to time. Enter at your own risk. The recipes are lessons to keep and learn and develop.

Splattered or not, enjoy your soup. Soup is medicine.

Dark Hours

I feel closest to God in those dark hours that bring sleep or illness.
Confined to bed.
Dark hours of emotion, depression, irrational thought.
Confined to spirit.
Void of the physical.
Confined to thoughts and dreams.

I feel closest because I must answer the questions:
What do you believe?
Where is your heart?
…courage?
…resolve?
What is real?
What is true?

Simplest, inarguable answer:
I trust you, God.
I will listen to your truth.

The Lonely Bird

When I was lonely and missing my family while I was overseas, I read this verse from the NASB.

Psalm 102:7

I lie awake,
I have become like a lonely bird on a housetop.

When you flap your feathers about, you risk being alone in the sky.
So we must call out to God. And wait upon his eagle wings.

sunset on carmel

Where in the world?

Terribly sorry. I’ve not posted in January. I was a broad abroad.

First, I went to the Holy Land. I’m supposed to call it that. To protect and ensure the safety of the team and those who are working with us, referring to this region as the Holy Land is hopefully less offensive. It is a holy land to most living there.

Second, I went home to KC! That didn’t go so well. :/ There was less tension in the Holy Land somehow? Unexpected.

While in the Holy Land, I worked with a humanitarian aid group (cannot name) to distribute wheelchairs and eyeglasses. So many people (cannot name) were helped. As you can imagine, most recipients did not want to publicize their need or charitable receipt. Understandable! Plus, advertising our help could jeopardize the team’s return.

There are so many stories. These stories have buried themselves in my dreams and burn like the Bedouin campfires hidden in the steep hills of the Middle East. Herding my heart toward grace and deep compassion for the people living there. I fell in love with the land, culture and most of all, the people. Their love and embrace–salvation from cold desert winds. There is hope for those that yet live. Strive. Hunger. Wander. Discover.

I will share some of these stories in the coming days as discreetly as I can, while still conveying the deep need and buoyant hope. A delicate endeavor. I am wholly changed after traveling so far. Thanks for reading!! And thanks to the team on which I served.