Fresh Starts

It’s come to my attention that there’s a new book sweeping across at least America’s attention called “The Boy, the Mole” and something else that escapes me. I’m not sure what I think of it, since it’s only new, but while I was putting a hold on it at my library app, I looked at some of the illustrations. One jumped out at me, striking a chord in my heart long forgotten.

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” asked one of the characters.

The boy’s answer was, “Kind”.

I remember answering this question in a Bible Study many years ago in an adult Sunday School class, and the lyrics popped into my mind of an old hymn from my childhood. Some of you will remember it:

“Out of the highways and byways of life, many are weary and sad”,

……………..and it goes on to the chorus:

“Make me a blessing, make me a blessing …………to someone today”.

Apparently that song had stuck in my mind, because I popped out the answer without thinking, “I wanted to be a blessing.”

This week in Singapore, we came across one of our old friends.  We haven’t spoken for over a year since we were here last, but this week she may have either intentionally or not, become a ‘blessing’ to us.

We always enjoy her and this time we were able to visit on a less than shallow level, and more importantly to articulate something that’s been bugging me for awhile.

Here’s my problem.  I’m not sure if I’m a blessing to anyone anymore. In fact, I’m not sure if I even am capable of thinking of others, of trying to reach out and make someone feel better.   Tommy Nelson, pastor of Denton Bible Church recently said this;

“You should get out of the ministry if you don’t care about people, because people are what God loves.”

I have to stop and wonder if this Cancer scare has knocked me around a bit more than I realize.  I seem to only think of myself these days.

As my friend and I talked about the plight we’re all in, she spoke of intentionally seeking out a spiritual mentor, (at the moment her mentor  seems to be a quiet and reserved Catholic Nun).

You see, she helped me understand, we ALL need a mentor.  A spiritual prod, someone to egg us along…….so that we can become, once again, a blessings to others. Sometimes in our lives, these people have shown up naturally, but more often than not we, without one, have become dry and self centered.

She and I went on to talk about the ‘forever foreigner’ problems that we as missionaries have.  Why? Because we share no common ground, no shared experience, with anyone except each other.  How true.  Except for my two kids, and perhaps some growing history thru their spouses, there is no one who shares our background. We are always on the outside looking in, trying to fit in. Sometimes it even becomes ‘comfortable’ to be non-accountable in some ways, but in the end it’s a pretty lonely existence.

This morning, we attended Grace Baptist Church, a place we’d visited some 30 years ago, pastored by a former employee of our IMB mission board.

As we sashayed in, dripping sweat from the steamy walk from the subway, we were alarmed to see the words emblazoned on the wall,

“Is there any part of my life that would benefit from a fresh start?”

Wow.  So all of you out there, I’ll be looking for that mentor, someone who will help me stop thinking only of myself and my plight……someone who’ll raise me up to God and His future plans for my life.

And bottom line here, when we get home in three more weeks, you can expect me (at least the 10’s of you who actually read this blog ) to show up at the potluck with the appropriate food, wearing the appropriate clothing and knowing who won the last football game.  I’m going to try to grow deeper and be less shallow and selfish.  Anyone want to take bets how long it’ll last?

We are fine, ready for the cruise in the morning and have really enjoyed our week here.  We’ll be back, Singapore!!

Next Sunday we’ll be at sea in the shark/pirate/and tour guide infested waters of Vietnam so don’t expect a blog.  Hopefully the next week, our Hong Kong friends will be waiting to ferry us to safety to land.  We love these guys so much!!

Tally Ho, Marsha

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