Missing My Mommy

I really miss my mom tonight.

One of the harder parts about grief is the unexpectedness. I can walk past pictures of my mom, tell stories about her, miss certain aspects of my relationship with her... all without incident.

Then, for whatever reason, something small hits home.

When it does, you sorta see a "highlight reel" of things you remember. You think about certain images, or the way hugging your mom was different from hugging everyone else. You remember little chats or jokes.

Strangely enough, you also continue to struggle with the things you always struggled with.

One of the things that I could never get over with my mom was the fact that she could never relax (I have no idea why this is making me cry so much, even as I write this). She was always angry or frustrated or speeding along to the next thing. Oh, of course there were times when she laughed and talked with everyone, but she always felt a little uptight. I wish I understood that part of her better.

I can still remember trying, time and time again, to get her to calm down a bit. "Mom, just RELAX." It happened over and over. She never did.

To this day, I'm not sure I ever entirely understood her point of view. I suppose I may have to wait to have kids of my own, or to see what Samantha is like when she has kids. I hope so. I think it will be easier to feel like I made my mom proud when I can identify with her perspective.

This may all sound like rambling to you, but you'll understand at some point. In some ways, it's really hard to understand the way you feel about a person for whom you have a fierce love but whom you never fully understood. I wish my mom were here so I could keep trying.


On Being Mission Minded

Louisville was terrific. The SBTS campus is beautiful, the professors are incredibly nice, the classes are challenging without being out of reach, and the students are focused and generous. I really feel this is God's place for Samantha and I to prepare for ministry. Now we'll just have to see whether I can get in there!

In the meantime, I've been thinking a lot lately about what it is to be mission-minded. I'm starting to work my way through Acts as I finish up 1 Peter, and I'm impressed in both by how important the call to spread the good news is. Quite simply, God has called us to reach out to the surrounding culture. Why don't we respond more obediently?

I imagine that a big part of it is fear of hardship or uncertainty. I struggle in trying to connect with non-Christians, because I feel like I speak a different language. I also tend to get too uptight about the lifestyles of people who don't know any better.

If I want to be a true minister, though, I ought to be a leader in formulating ways of stretching out to draw people toward Christ. Our call is to preach the good news to all people, baptising them and teaching them to obey God... and then doing it again. I find that I tend to lose site of this concept and instead focus my time on teaching people who are already Christians. That's a good thing, which I intend to continue, but I also should be recognizing that the call to minister to the unsaved is a continual call, not one that ended when we established a financially stable church community.

My hope is that studying Acts will teach me things about how the early church built itself without losing site of its mission. I want to be a servant of Christ committed to obedience in all areas, not just areas of training and discipleship. If my desire is to truly see the kingdom of God established by the growth of His authority in the hearts of people, I should be more committed to bringing those who have not heard to a knowledge of Him.