Thursday, November 22, 2012


Sunday morning around seven, I sat down on the concrete out by our gate, the only place on our compound with semi-reliable cell phone service. I was on the phone to Little Rock, calling my sister Keri much too late in her Saturday evening, both of us on our third week of a cold, coughing through our conversation. If I'd called her as much as I'd been thinking of her last week, she wouldn't have gotten a thing done.

It was the day before her C-section with her third. The powerful emotions that pulled me were so disparate: Joy over a third baby born to some of my favorite people in the world, and sorrow because I didn't see the pregnancy, and I won't meet my niece until she's getting ready to walk.

I find myself comforted by the story of Amy Carmichael, and how in 55 years of missionary service she did not return to visit her parents in Ireland. Amy's mother, upon understanding the call of God on Amy's life, reportedly said, "Yes, dearest Amy, He has lent you to me all these heart unfailingly says, Go ye."

This comforts me as I'm blessed with all the technological goodies and planes that, for example, have brought John's parents to us this week! Yes, God has asked some hard things things  of the senders and the go-ers. But it's much less than it has been. So as I prayed with my sister and cried a little, God still managed to fill my heart with thankfulness.

And as I sat in the car outside a remote village in northern Uganda and my cell phone rang on Monday night, so much more: Sophie Joy was born safely, 7 lbs. and apparently cute as a button, confirmed by pictures--and right on the heels of my nephew's baby, Ben. Somebody over there, hug the tar out of those babies and their families for me.

Lots to be grateful for today.

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