Last Thursday and Saturday found John and I in a breezy, tiled living room, palm trees waving out the window. It was comfortably crowded with nine pastors, give or take, and their wives. John was conducting a mini-seminar on biblical conflict management and peacemaking for Ugandan pastors-in-training....and--permit me to gush for just a second--that was incredible. John was, as he has been before in this area, sheerly a natural.
I think for me the best part was seeing them get the “aha” of the connection to the Gospel: that our vertical relationship with God plays out in the horizontal, the latter of which is so often fraught with pain and brokenness. But for all of time God's run after us, pursuing us as the great Relationship Mender, at the highest price: not faking peace or breaking peace, but going the distance to make true and lasting peace. It was such a privilege to talk with these co-laborers about practical ways to dig in and love well in relationships at the point when they're the least easy, the least comfortable.
It was also nothing short of sacred, there together, to hear this inspiring group of young leaders share some incredibly personal experiences. Watching John work and affect this type of impact was the kind of opportunity that makes you think, This is why we came here. Watching him practically glow in his own private enthusiasm and passion for what he's doing after the first session, recalling how much he loved it, is something so fulfilling as a spouse.
So much of what we do here is decidedly unsexy; distinctly un-bloggable for one reason or another; vague and long-term at best in its fruitfulness. But there are a few sweet moments where God so clearly gives us opportunities to say, This--this!--is who our God is--and dream a bit about what He's doing, thankful we can be here and see it up close.