Spartan heart.

It’s been over a month since I last saw those beautiful eyes, held those hands, and said those goodbyes.

I remember wearily boarding a flight for Newark and hearing “Good Life” by OneRepublic as the plane took off. It sounded bitterly ironic. To what, and why, was I returning? A culture suffering from, and reveling in, an epidemic of excess? “First-world problems?”  The “good life?”

Yes. I returned to other things, too: caring friends, promising opportunities, and renewed vision on one hand; bruised relationships, a sense of entrapment, and many a wakeful night on the other. A lot of blessings and a lot of pain.

But the LORD did not take me to India so I could better diagnose everything that doesn’t suit me here. The more important question was, as whom would I return?

The answer will take time, but there have been traces of change. I returned determined to tell the untold stories, compelled to defend what God intends for the life of every child, committed to seek justice, and most of all, to seek Jesus.

You wouldn’t believe what can happen in a short time when you let love go unchecked. There are times when I need the little ones’ love like I need light and oxygen. Times when I am lost without them. Times when I know I’m a foreigner. Times when it feels like home is oceans away in a place where joy and pain are not contrived, not imitated, not denied.

I’d like to think this longing could be satisfied simply by returning to a village in rural India. But what if the true object is something beyond the temporal? Perhaps the desire itself is a gift in strange disguise — grace to walk valleys and mountains for the hope of what beckons beyond. Maybe it’s the call of an invisible kingdom.

And what is the response?

To walk that road and take whatever it gives you. To love for the sake of love Himself, even when it means heavyweight heart pain along the way. It takes a Spartan heart to love recklessly and shoulder the consequences; to get hit and keep moving forward. I’m not there yet.

“Don’t cry,” said a certain Spartan-hearted 15-year-old before I left, tears sliding down his face. I did cry. The road does that to you sometimes. It can break you.

But it will make you whole.

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One thought on “Spartan heart.

  1. Noelle,
    Thanks again for sharing your heart, and doing so honestly… and with patient longsuffering toward those here in America who suffer from ‘1st World Problems’ and, as a result, are ignorant of the TRUE SUFFERING experienced by so many of our brothers & sisters in Christ in other countries and other cultures. The Lord certainly has His hand upon you and is at work in your heart & life to prepare you for a purpose far beyond your wildest imaginations (Eph. 3:20, 1Cor. 2:9). That said, remember that His plan for your life may look quite diffirent than what every fiber in your body seemed to be saying to you when you boarded that airplane bound for EWR and the USA. Give Him space to work, be patient (as the farmer must be patient) to wait for ‘the early and the latter rain’ – ie. those things that only the Lord can do. In the meantime, continue to “weed the garden” and cultivate the seeds that He has sown in your heart. He does not and will not waste anything. The “harvest” is only a season away – wait for it… for He will surely bring it to pass in due time.
    To be continued…
    jfo

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