hanging in a friend's house which depicts one of the most famous
mosques in the world. November 7 (or a date sometime close to
that--depending on the moon) will mark the end of the week of Hajj
and the beginning of the Festival of Sacrifice. This is a very
important holiday time for approximately one third of our world's
population. It is a holiday when they remember and honor the
obedience of Abraham in offering up his son to God.....and, in turn,
it is a time of remembering and honoring God who did not take the
life of the boy, but provided his own perfect sacrifice to Abraham
instead. The sacrifice that God provides is always enough and
never too early or too late. He is the ultimate "Abraham," the
Author and Perfector of our faith. What an example and joy we
have in this story. What a blessing to the heart of God to
remember Muslims around the world as they celebrate God's provision
and seek His blessings in the coming year. Would you show the
greatest love possible to them and pray for all of His abundant
blessings to be showered upon them this year?
I'm sitting on the beach in Hawaii and it is pouring rain. Thank goodness
I am under an awning. It is pretty surreal to be writing you from this
location. So, this certainly isn't a true tidbit "from Ebony." It is
more like a tidbit from the tropics. I have had several amazing
opportunities this month to see beautiful things from fall colors through West
Virginia and Tennessee, to sunsets in Las Vegas, and even the Grand Canyon...to
this amazing "Garden" island of Kauai. Our globe is definitely much
smaller than we think and much more vast than we usually remember in day to day
life. I often think of our bodies, especially as they relate to birth, in
much the same way. Like a whole other universe. Beauty, systems,
history, capacity and even calm exist within their inner workings. Our
Maker is truly deserving of praise for allowing us to know and see more deeply
who HE is as we look at all that He has made (and IS making) in this world.
the opportunity in the last month to visit the Grand Canyon for the
first time. I think this picture is from my first view of it, at
sunset the day I arrived. What an amazing blessing to be able to see
this part of creation.
Right now I am in a time of reflection. I am traveling and speaking to
different supporters around the country. I am on this trip with my
grandparents in Hawaii for the week. But, the whole time I am still
reflecting, sometimes involuntarily and sometimes purposefully, on what this
last season has been. It has certainly been one of the hardest things I've
ever gone through--to grieve at the same time as working so very hard, and to
help a project, a whole community, try to reach their full potential while
eventually bringing the outside sources of help to a close.
of you ever seen your Doppelganger? Does anyone know what a
Doppelganger is? It is like a "look-a-like." A "parallel universe"
version of yourself or someone you know. This little girl is one of
my sweetest, little friends in Ebony and I just met her American
Doppelganger this month in Clarksville, TN! The resemblance is
unbelievable, yet both girls do not speak the same language! My mom
was with me and can attest to the similarity. Go figure!
The garden that was a part of our project in Ebony (the project I was helping to
manage for the past year and a half) became a sort of symbol of the life, the
friend, we had lost. Probably sometimes to an unhealthy extent we
associated the living things, even the colors, of that place with her. We
missed her, so we could look at the trees and remember she had lived, she was
beautiful and her impact lives on. But, we missed her...so, sometimes we
would look at the trees and not always remember the hundreds of children
surrounding the garden who were without food that day. Of course, our work
was MEANT for those children. But, it is so easy to get lost in grief and
pain. It is so easy for perspective to become illusive.
A subtle and life changing season began for me in the past year when, several
months ago, we began working with community leaders to discuss the end of the
garden and what was to become of it. It was a time to let go. Through
their discussions and expressions I gained some perspective. A garden is a
garden. Beautiful, alive, nourishing. Like this little island I am sitting on.
Body........reconciliation...........eternal expression, acceptance, intimacy.
Those seedlings would not bud until they were watered in the blood of Christ.
He's showing me that these are His gardens. A garden that is unending.
That is not lost. Never needs to be "let go of." That doesn't need
to become "self-sustainable" for it to have value. By our very nature as
His garden, dependency is what glorifies Him most! Our connection to Him,
and to each other, is His "GREEN."
The color green means so much to me having lived in Ebony for several years, and
the Arabian desert before that, and the East Asian desert (not to mention a city
of concrete with several million inhabitants!). "Green" is a FEAST to my
eyes! I love green against a blue sky. I love green against a grey
cloud. I love it at my finger tips. Or, mixed in with golds, reds
and browns of autumn. I just love it. It is life giving.
How HE must delight when He sees HIS kind of green, the costly kind, in our
lives. How He must purpose, as the Master Gardener, to do whatever it
takes to see His investment flourish and reach all the potential He has
envisioned, nourishing gardens....lives.......far beyond the initial plot.
As you all birth and help birth babies this month, I pray your impact on the
relationships entrusted to you is more life giving than you could have imagined.
And, that the blessing returns to you a hundred fold in your own life. I
appreciate your prayers as I seek to stay connected to friends and loved ones in
Ebony while also reconnecting here in the States.
In Him, E.C.
a small bed in Ebony....people don't usually sleep on beds, but
sometimes these kind of small cot things are useful to keep snakes
and scorpions away while you take a cat nap. Please pray that I will
receive and participate in HIS rest while I am home in the coming