the joy of broken toys

“May all your expectations be frustrated, May all your plans be thwarted, May all your desires be withered into nothingness, that you may experience the powerlessness and poverty of a child and sing and dance in the love of God the Father, the Son and the Spirit.” – blessing to Henri Noewen

I love this particular blessing.  It challenges me to learn what it is to rejoice in suffering, to let go of my perceptions of control and order and to offer up those longings for symmetry and sense to the wisdom of the Father, who sees more, who loves more who understands me better than I will ever know myself.  To experience powerlessness and maintain joy in my weakness; to know frustration and still be able to utter praise; to fade into the background of nothingness and know the awesome blessings of humility.

I am learning or rather repeating such lessons these days.

If I count correctly, I think it will be about 17 beds that we have slept in since coming to Kenya.  Yesterday it became 18.   We were about to leave in our newly acquired butterscotch coloured LandRover 110 for the first leg of our 3 day trip North, when Jay took to his bed once again with unresolved symptoms. This will be another week of further testing and monitoring as the (awesome) doctors we have here play out a real live version of “House” with Jay as the star!
 And I find myself battling a feeling of frustration over this delay, to not know what the next day will bring, to be completely unable to make plans and move forward. (I am a list maker by heart).  This is a quicksand feeling of being stuck in place wading against the heavy clay of circumstance which bogs down.There is a belief which nags at me, and I moan aloud, half levelled at circumstance and the other half at God and protest this feeling of “let’s get back to life and ministry”.  It is easy and neat to compartmentalize my life.  Family, kids, work, ministry, husband, friends…
But life in reality is fluid not fragmented. I do not stop ministry because I change location or deviate from plan “A” or am delayed. We are not less of a family because we are not grounded to one particular place or another.  Life is messy and extrodinary and full of opportunities that can not possibly be planned, outlined or detailed. The interruptions are apart of life and how I live during the ‘interrupted’ times is just as important as the “regular, just as I expect it, normal” times. Life does not fit in the mental compartments that I set up for myself for which create a structure to placate my need for perceived order and control. God is in control. And sometimes the best that He has for me is in the frustration and delays and feelings of powerlessness and inadequacy.
I love Lewis’ description:
“My own experience is something like this.  I am progressing along the path of life in my ordinary contentedly fallen and godless condition, absorbed in a merry meeting with my friends for the morrow or a bit of work that tickles my vanity today, a holiday or a new book, when suddenly a stab of abdominal pain that threatens serious disease, or a headline in the newspapers that threatens us all with destruction, send this whole pack of cards tumbling down.  At first I am overwhelmed, and all my little happinesses look like broken toys.  Then, slowly and reluctantly, bit by bit, I try to bring myself into the frame of mind that I should  be in at all times.  I remind myself that all these toys were never intended to posses my heart, that my true good is in another world and my only real treasure is Christ. And perhaps, by God’s grace I succeed, and for a day or two become a creature consciously dependant on God and drawing its strength from the right sources.  But the moment the threat is withdrawn, my whole nature leaps back to the toys….Thus the terrible necessity of tribulation is only too clear.  God has had me but for forty-eight hours and then only by dint of taking everything else away from me.”
Oh that I would know the blessing of broken toys, knowing in full my weakness in order to rest within His strength.- L