Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Africa Pt. 5

Africa - The Journey Begins.

I open my mouth, and nothing. Sigh. I've stared at the fire until the warbled flames blur into orange fuzz. "Honey, I think you should go." The words tumble out like pebbles in the surf. The air almost fizzes, "Kenya."

Craig, fallen asleep in the warm sigh of our fireplace, stirs, a throw pillow munched into his stubbly cheek. He groans and sucks in a mile of air. Tides of sleep ebb.

"Hi, Bethany," his eyes squeeze shut.

Then in another wave of courage I blurt it out, full voice, "I think you should go."

He stretches. A long spool of breath unrolls.

Courage, isn't that the unsteady peek around a dark alley when you're already afraid? So there, surrounded by wood paneling and old burber carpet, I jab my toe into his sleep softened side, "Hey, Kenya."

It sounds like a pretend word and an imaginary place. Now suddenly I am sending my husband far over the rainbow to Kenya. So marks the beginning and end of me.

Even so, fear is a beacon in the sifting sand of emotion. It's a megaphone calling out, Now! This is it, GO! Now is the moment you've waited for. Be BRAVE. Everything matters in that one moment. The world is clear, concise, simple.


Fear is a radio active dye setting my whole circulatory system a glow. For a moment I see who I really am. Sweat on my brow, heart pounding, a tight balled up breath in my chest, the persistent nudge of fear reminds me, stand a little taller, step a little closer, and look him square in the eyes. "Yeah, go."

Far and away, half around the world Craig will simply go. It's such a small word. It doesn't capture the half liter of air that catches in the back of my throat. I marvel at the audacity of God. Africa really? Without me? Really? Yup.

My husband receives arsenals of vaccines, sends for a passport, calculates a budget, and I wonder, how many times have I missed this astonishing ride on the coat tails of God Almighty. I keep thinking of Aslan in the Chronicles of Narnia - he is a very good lion, but not necessarily a safe lion. That sums it up.

Besides, safety is only what you see looking back when you haven't yet died. It is the stubbornly persistent illusion that we are in control at all. What great adventures and wild depths of God's glory have I missed holed up all these years in the safety of my salvation.

So terrified? Fully and not at all, but what's eternal salvation if you don't take it out for a spin or two.

Yes God, we're game. Count us in.


  1. Though we know that walking in faith is what God wants us to do, stepping out of our comfort zone is understandably difficult. You're not just walking - you are running as a family, just like at the fun run.

    Great comparison to Aslan!

  2. Can I also say that I love that from the outside it could look like this was an adventure for Craig - he's getting shots and he's traveling across the world - but God's taking you on an adventure as well. No passport needed, but your journey is also being used to inspire.

  3. I totally agree with Lori - both comments! I am so proud of you - you really are inspiring. And like I told you on the phone the other day... if I was in this situation, I can only hope that I would've been strong enough to come to the same conclusion you did - to ride on the coat tails of our awesome God on the adventure he has set us for us. Just so excited for your whole family! Love ya!

  4. B
    i want to wrap your words around me like a blanket...
    "the safety of my salvation..."

    i am waving a handkerchief in the air as i sit in my fatman chair watching west wing.

    irony- savored.


  5. Bethany, this has to be my favorite post that you have written so far. Wow! What a writer you are. What an inspiration you are.

    And, hey, I am waving a handkerchief here too.

  6. Kyah, Your Style FinderMarch 25, 2009 at 3:21 PM

    I love that last line..."what's eternal salvation if you don't take it out for a spin or two". Love it.

    On another note...or not so different note...You MUST read this blog: www.kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com I read this blog and had tears in my eyes. This girl, Katie, is from a well-off family here in Nashville, TN and she uprooted herself and went to Uganda at age 19, where she has lived now for 2+ years. She has personally adopted 14 children at my last head count and her story is incredible. She sees miracles take place every day. Read her blog and let me know what you think!

  7. YES!!! I loved talking with you today! love love ya


  8. Bethany--
    You are a gifted writer. I should have posted on all of your Africa entries how touched I was as I read them. Thank you for sharing God's movement in you! :) LE

  9. Pig Woman, I agree.

    I am thinking of the great poet Maya Angelou when she says, "Surviving is important. Thriving is elegant."

    Prevail. Tattoo Girl.

  10. To say you are a good writer misses everything, but my goodness, every word perolates, brews, aroma and burn--throat to breast bone.

    You have a keen lens, an eye that misses nothing and the courage to bear everything. Bare everything.

    Sometimes we long to be light like the sun, but in the darkness we find we have no more than a pinpoint of brilliance. Yes, we are stronger together; we are the constellations. Tonight you are the north star.