Unsatisfied By Average

The Musings of a Stubborn Believer

Category: travel (page 2 of 2)

When God [Re]writes My Christmas Story

I believe in the God-scripted life. A script writer myself, I know that he who writes the script authors the outcome, and I believe in God-authored outcomes.

So let the story take unexpected turns!

 For the shepherd on the dark hillsides outside of Bethlehem, the appearance of not one, but countless angels from Heaven’s very choir was certainly just that: unexpected.

 And for us, sitting in the car all night in a familiar town was that likewise. And being separated by miles and feet of snow when we most wanted to be together– this season, and father’s 60th birthday– certainly not in the plans.

 But I have learned that through the unexpected God hones our expectancy towards Himself… And what is this season to remind us of, if not expectant waiting for the King? And even as space and time make loving hearts grow fonder, separation makes reunion more sweet.

So we glory in the gift of Jesus today, together. And thank Him that we have eyes to see, and ears to hear, and lives to live His script.

Wishing you all a most blessed and joyful Christmas! You are (each!) gifts to me this year…

Together! (seriously icy road…)

finally off the mountain

catching up (we get behind within minutes of separating)

So near, yet so far…

I never thought I would be stranded just a stone’s throw from home…
But here we are.

I awaken with a start in the post office parking lot where we have taken refuge from the storm. We were on our way to Texas, now we’d just be glad for a place to lay flat. A mere hour and a half from home, and now we can’t go forward, and we can’t go back. Mother and Chantée who left earlier and were to meet us are likewise stranded in Albuquerque, both interstates closed. We roll our window down to talk to the policeman who is quickly becoming our friend…

“You guys ok?”

Oh boy. We’re fine… But are you going to get that car out of this parking lot?
Joshua and I end up white from head to foot after pushing the unit out of the drift created by our very van. We decide to get out ourselves before we’re drifted in…

And in the biting wind of the worst blizzard I have ever lived through, I think:
Boy, so near, yet so far! If only we could get home

I mean, I just drove through the worst conditions of my life to get here, but I’d still give anything to be able to head back towards my room right now.

Snow stings. I squint as I make my way back to the car.
My heart strains at receding red and blue lights. The kind policeman promised he’d see us again.

But just before I yank the frozen-closed driver door open, (to go back to “sleep”) this little thought thunders me–

He could have gone home. But He didn’t.
He stayed stranded in a cold world, on a cold night… By far the worst “blizzard” He’d experienced. Like me, part of Him probably wondered at the circumstances he found Himself in. But the stronger part embraced them.
And he didn’t run home, though He could have.

He came here, He stayed here, by choice

Merry Christmas.

usually, there’s a road there.

p.s. this really is real time blogging. Posted from back in the selfsame Post Office parking lot. No idea when we’ll get out of here… Did I tell you this GYC wasn’t going to be average?

Thy Thoughts Towards Me

“How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand…” 
Psalms 139:17-18
Crashing waves on endless beaches always do something moving in my soul. 
For the larger God looms, the less I fear my problems.
And God grows at the beach in my little mind. By virtue of sheer volume of sand; sheer power of water.
If you don’t understand me, go count the grains in a teaspoon of sand from the neighbor kid’s sandbox.
My long silence has had to do with crossing the United States by car. (then back again). The trip is only half done… But one of the highlights was certainly gathering on the beach at AMEN conference with the surgeons, physicians, dentists, and PHDs and their little ones building sand sculptures from the bible.
You’ve never watched anything like it…


I love it when a group of kids knocks on the door, and after they have finished singing and the owner has selected a Great Controversy (of all things!) from their stash of “free gifts,” they offer to pray for blessings on that house, and the owner crashes in with his own beautiful prayer of blessing for them…

I love it when a simple songs strikes a solid chord because the heart was made soft by a brother’s recent passing…

I love it when the neighborhood kids get excited right along with us, and wait with huge smiles with their scooters and unicycle for us to pick them up each afternoon to sing to he rest of the town.

I love it when those same neighborhood kids tell me all the english phrases they’ve learned in school, while I stretch my poor tongue to make German sounds back, and we all laugh, friends.

It is hard not to love this place.

we set out
that’s my pal there
and his harmonica is a big hit
neighborhood girls
surrounded by friends
(most of whom have names difficult to pronounce)
this is real fun
next door
see my friends with the wheels?
how beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news…

But We Know Better

We were loathe to leave.

Something made me linger in the entrance of the Waldensian temple clutching the side of the Alps. And I wasn’t alone…

. . . . . . .

I turn again to face the pulpit, camera in one hand:

“La Croce é la potenza di Dio Noi predichiamo Cristo crocifisso”

The place still rings from our last song… But once more my lips part:

Because the Lord our God is good,
His mercy is forever sure
His truth at all times firmly stood
And shall from age to age endure…

Shouldn’t we always end with the Doxology?

My hear throbs fullness as I walk once more towards the door.

What a day! 
– Breakfast in the shadow of the cliff where 19 year old boys, and 14 year old girls, and mothers with their babies sealed their testimonies and the rocks cried red. 
– The school that young men left never to come home unless they dropped of exhaustion before they died at the stake. 
– The stone table, [the very table!] where they copied line after line of scripture with cold fingers all winter long so that the next generation wouldn’t have to die in darkness. 
– The canyon fog rolled down. 
– The pool where the mocking captain filled his lungs with freezing water instead of air, while the insults were still on his tongue...

My fist closes around the iron gate, lungs take in air hard.
My gaze fixes afar. 
Natasha steps up behind me; silent.

“‘His truth at all times firmly stood.'”
“And shall from age to age endure.”

“Some thought it was nearly gone…”

I step around to watch water pour timelessly out of the fountain before the door. 
(Some of you know that fountain: I saw your names in the guestbook.)

“But the flame was still there.”

My gaze wanders up to windows high.

“They thought men and devils had it nearly snuffed out.”

My shutter sounds.

“But we know better.”

And Away…

Here we go, on wings of prayer.

Thanks for upholding us, friends…
Eternity will testify to the weight of your prayers.
We’ll always be indebted.

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