Ryan & Jordan

with Pioneer Bible Translators

Month: March, 2014

Season of surprise

by Jordee

My favorite time of year is finally here. Its arrival is particularly welcome after this frigid and long winter. Good riddance snow and ice and short days. Though I spend most of winter craving the start of spring, when it comes, I find myself pleasantly startled again and again. It brings more relief, more lightness of heart, than I had remembered to anticipate. It surprises me.

543986_10150602097406961_2015948086_n

To celebrate this season of new birth and surprise endings that are also the most natural, here is one of my favorite poems I’ve ever come across.

This time of year,
what with bulbs bursting
through to light, crashing
headlong into color, puff balls
of sudden pink, cloud clumps
of eager violet and white crowding,
clustering, clambering up and along
each naked stem and branch,
what with the gray lawn’s sweet,
impulsive greening, the chill creek’s
snow-melt speedy surface coat
of foam and flashing ripples,
what with these birdsong brimming dawns,
these chirping, marsh-born, peeper
chants that hymn the day to rest,
what with such hastening, glad abandon
rushing, coursing, flooding, charging
toward life, tales of a vacant tomb,
of bindings cast like scattered husks
and the rumbling of a cold, dead rock
to clear the way for all that is to come,
such tales seem almost natural. What else
should we have expected, after all?

– J. Barrie Shepherd

Advertisements

experiencing hospitality

by Jordee

As Ryan already mentioned, our time in North Carolina has truly been wonderful. Several themes of the past couple months come to mind: rest, family, transition, preparation. But one which continues to surprise us is hospitality. Seriously, every time we experience it, hospitality takes us off guard in the best kind of way. And, as I’ll hopefully make clear, I don’t mean hospitality in the simple sense of entertaining guests, opening your house to strangers, conversations over tea, and the like, though this is included. I hope to convey to you our experiences with the kind of hospitality that is characteristic of God’s family.

We felt it literally as soon as we arrived at our new home. We barely had time to unload our packed Civic before my sister and my parents paraded into our house with hugs, loud and joyful welcomes, groceries, and a Christmas tree. And then there is this house, our temporary home for our time here, which was freely given to us by a family whom we had not even met, but who were more than willing to loan out this adorable little house in the woods. Every day we are reminded of their hospitality. Then, a couple weeks ago, we were invited to speak at a conference at a local church, who stood and clapped to welcome the guest missionaries, who cheerfully and humbly thanked us simply for coming to share about our work.

Other experiences have been sporadic and equally surprising. We have had family members, friends, and people we barely know doing whatever they can think of to move us along in this journey we’ve begun to serve the Bible-less.

Perhaps it is because we have transitioned to a kind of life that is unusually dependent on people’s kindness and generosity, and so are even more aware of God’s goodness in our lives, but we rejoice in the hospitality of His people. The people of God have opened up to us, made room for us, and blessed us with kindness and generosity. May we practice the kind of hospitality we have experienced, the kind that makes space for others to live and to be at peace, the kind that joyfully and generously welcomes the stranger, the kind that embraces those who are different from us and liberates fearful hearts.