Sunday, January 25, 2009

Bittersweet ... lakes & flakes. From a grateful Ragamuffin

It's late and I'm tired. Yet somehow I feel compelled to put into print some kind of synopsis of today. It was a weird one. Weird like in "unusual." Not weird like in annoying or disturbing.

Today I left a church family that I had come to love. It was hard. And yet when God gives a direction there is no turning back. At least that's what the old song says. And I don't argue with old songs. I also don't argue with God. That's a good way to lose.

Yesterday 3 of my closest rented friends and I loaded a 17 foot U-Haul truck. It took about 3 hours and it was bitter cold. I spent my time on the outside end of the proposition. By the time we finished, hugged our apartment manager goodbye (Hi Crystal! Hi Melodie!) I was frozen solid. Figuratively. I think. It felt literal. And so we drove to the hotel where we had rented a room for the night. My brilliant bride went to check us in while I parked the truck. When I got in with the luggage she has managed to suck-up to the desk clerk and got a free upgrade to a room with its own jacuzzi. Not the bath tub kind. The real deal. I spent a couple of hours there thawing out. Then she fed me Tilapia at the Outback. I love this woman.

After a nights sleep we made our way to FBCSL where I was blessed to have the opportunity to baptize 3 adults and speak to the people I have called my spiritual family for the last time. It was bitter sweet. The bitter is in the leaving friends. Those amazing young couples (you know who you are...) have become like precious gold to us. The sweet was in the baptizing ... the worshipping ... and yes, the realization that God is writing a new chapter in our lives. How good He is. How grateful we are.

It snowed from Cleveland to west of Columbus. I didn't order that and nobody that I'm aware of predicted it. Things like that just happen when you live in the wilds of the Great Lakes states. I didn't mind so much. You don't seem much snow in St. Louis. The lawn between my (former) apartment building and Lake Erie had nearly 2 feet on it ... knee deep stuff ... when I walked out to say goodbye to the lake on Friday. That's a lot of flakes.

And so tomorrow is ... tomorrow. There are nearly 300 miles to go. And then our new spiritual family will team up with us at our new (temporary) apartment and, under Debbie's direction, we'll set up housekeeping one more time. It's becoming a trend. But in this life a roof, walls, heat, light, food ... they are not "a given" for everyone. And so we are thankful to our God who so richly provides.

Sheffield Lake FBC'ers ... thank you for loving us. We love you right back. And our prayers are with you every day.

Tower "Viewers" ... thank you for accepting us into your family. We cannot wait to serve alongside you. We cannot wait to see what God has on the agenda. Let's get messy for Jesus ...