Much has happened since I've last found some words to put down. Jeff and I celebrated our one year anniversary on August 11, while having dinners and laughs with Heather, Braden, Laura, and Casey in Nashvilla. Ah, it's always great to see a new city! It's also great to celebrate good things, like anniversaries. We thawed the wedding cake, which suprisingly, was still pretty tasty. Maybe the better your first year of marriage, the better your cake tastes. Hmmm. It was definitely a good year...
And a BIG YEAR. We changed cities, states, jobs, restaurant choices, and front porch views. We gained new friends and kept good, good "old" ones (and might I add, you discover depth of friendships by the ones who end up on your doorstep and at your dinner table from hundreds of miles away!) We've been in Memphis for almost 7 months now, and it's been wonderful and hard. Living in the same city as Larry Ray Reed, Kim Perry, and Ashok & Neha is certainly a good, good thing. But it's also hard living in a place with so much need and despair and division. I've written enough blogs on this, so no need to go into it here. But I'll keep reminding us...
Beauty is best when it is born out of brokenness.
We've been back from Zambia for almost 2 weeks now. It was terrific and fun and tiring and difficult. I was struck by the simplicity and the sunsets and the potholes (and they were definitely serious potholes!) We learned a lot about flexibility and patience. We learned something about hunger, though nothing compared to those who know what starving is. We worshipped and prayed in different languages, but in the same Spirit. We added to the beauty, together. The story I love telling best is this one.
As we were watching "the Jesus film" one night, this little girl of 5 or 6 sat next to me. She spoke Tonga; I spoke English. So basically, we didn't speak at all. but at the end of the film, when the Zambians begin to sing and worship, she reached over nonchalantly and took my hand, clasped it, sometimes clapping with it, but mostly holding it, and just held it for what seemed like forever. No big gushy production. We just sat under the African sky, stars beaming, holding hands and worshipping in Tonga. Simple and incredible.
I saw what I saw and I can't forget it
I heard what I heard and I can't go back
I know what I know and I can't deny it
something on the road, cut me to the soul....
your pain has changed me
your dream inspires
your face a memory
your hope a fire
your courage asks me what I'm afraid of
and what I know of love...
yes, words just get in the way.