Nimefika! I’ve arrived! I am back in America.
I walked into Target and was quite overwhelmed. I wandered around in a funk for half an hour before I was able to get oriented enough to begin shopping. Not even fashion waited for me to get back. What is with these skinny jeans??
I bought some new summer sandals…watched Paul Blart, Mall Cop at the budget theater…went ice skating at the Pettit Center with my sister.
I miss hot weather and fresh mango and Kenyan people and sand. I miss speaking Swahili. I miss sitting for hours with my friends doing nothing, just being together. And the way the stars shine through the acacia trees at night, so bright in the deep warm dark that I think of as Eden.
But on the other hand…I am so glad I finally got to see and hug and talk to my family! And the crab apple trees are blooming pink-and-white. The lilacs are bursting with bloom. There is Foosball, bike rides, Snickers bars. And God has not changed.
I wonder how the new group of interns is doing over there in Africa. They were so brave, traveling from January in America to ninety-five degrees in the blazing equatorial sun of Kenya! They knew they were chosen by God. I knew it. I miss them, think of them roasting goat and talking Swahili with new friends. They are subtly changing the character of a city, a nation, a generation.
It would have been so incredible to see a tremendous harvest. We saw a few. But we know, and are deeply satisfied in knowing, that we prepared the fields for the ones following after us. The Kingdom comes. Each one has a part to play. Each one has the light to shine. I know the way I fit here now will never be the same. I will always be a little bit other. It is part of my call, and I am richer for it.
My God is light. He made the stars. In the night, they are there; when the clouds cover them they still shine. They tell me that light is always there, even in the darkness, even hidden and unnoticed. It cannot be killed.
And He “whose fingertips set them to burning,” as Jim Elliot said, has kindled my soul’s flame and made me a star. You, too. We shine like stars in the universe as we hold out this word of life unending. We who are free; who do not complain or argue, because we know the Lord of all the earth. We are still, and know that He is God.
I do not have the power to lift the darkness around me. I do not pretend to have conquered the darkness within me. He began it; and He is finishing it, around and inside and through me.
He is the morning star. He signals the coming dawn; and when the light breaks and everything is made new, the night will vanish like a bad dream. Only the light will remain.
The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.