It ushers people in - people that you learn to struggle with and thru,
that become a part of your daily life: your community,
that love your children,
people that sometimes drive you bonkers, annoy you, grate you, sharpen you . . . and I won't include a photo for that one.
Whether you want to or not, when you live in a community of believers, you HAVE to LOVE others- because well, you live with them, work with them, worship with them, fellowship with them, carpool with them - because if you don't love them, your whole testimony of being a christian is blown out of the water. Most of the time, the love part happens naturally, but sometimes, even with those you would naturally gravitate towards, it takes work. Either way, the love is there, even with it's jagged edges and smooth entertwiney - ness. At least this is how I feel about it. I've been commanded to love, with all of its pokey parts which sometimes leave a mark.
AND THEN, after all that, the revolving door of ministry ushers them out - just like that - gone from here.
Yes, of course, friendships continue to flourish from afar, but it is different. The apartness is painful, even though the moving on is a directive of the Lord. The pattern of nice to meet you/I adore you/your leaving/repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Uggggg. Shakespeare nailed it with the "parting is such sweet sorrow" bit.
I think Dr. Seuss said it best when he said, "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened." Yes, I'm smiling . . . . but it still hurts - the backside of that door. However, it has been SUCH A JOY to know these AMAZINGLY AWESOME people whose ultimate desire has been to serve and glorify the Lord - and I shutter to think of my life had the revolving door not spit one of us out at the other - in love, of course.
I know this probably won't make sense to many people who have not experienced the mission field, or ministries in general, and that's okay. There is a certain amount of transiency, which can be difficult when you believe you have been commanded to sit and stay . . . . for now.
Okay, I think this might be my most melancholy post EVER - I wouldn't expect to see to many more like this, but every once in a while my inner Eeyore comes out. I feel better now. Thanks for listening.
P.S. Just so you know, I realize that the "revolving door" is really the hand of God at work. I understand His timing is perfect, and that He brings specific groups together at certain times to accomplish His work. And even as I sit here, I know that there are more AMAZINGLY AWESOME people in my midst whom I have yet to connect with on a deeper level that experience the same sting of frequent departures that I do.