The transience is pressing in today. We walk alongside others in this international existence knowing change is just around the next corner. But despite the coming and the going a community is formed, through shared experience and treasured moments. A community that does hold. My thoughts this morning are with friends who are hurting many miles from where I sit. My heart turns to these and other memories as we feel and love and experience, from a distance.
Our conversation started over lunch. Our annual ladies retreat chattering, ministering around us. There were pictures. Funny stories of the grandkids. I was hearing of their reunion, all together in Kenya. And we were celebrating the miracle of that.
Then the tears.
There had been a loss. And a barrenness. And my heart broke too.
We made our way to a veranda, and tucked ourselves away. To pray.
I treasure this. Anointing tears.
As we sat together, we were strengthened from the past experience.
Her first born and I consecrated the lawn of this retreat center one year long past. Annointed with our tears. And our frustrations. And our fears. Two very inward souls, trusting from some of our deepest places on that day. A rarity. And a treasure.
Her second born and I shared some tears too. From laughter. Soul renewing hilarity over mountain climbs and British soldiers and exhilarating exhaustion.
We had all shared a meal, some time later, and sat together in their living room in Nairobi. Broken shards of loss all in the middle of us. Sacred space. Painful space.
We didn’t know the outcome that evening as we sat with the fractured realities. Only faith. And hope. And surrender.
From those memories and many others, birthed communion. And trust. The familiarity of joining our hands and hearts in prayer.
On the retreat veranda, those years later, we could see the expanse of gorgeous rain forest just in front of us. Full of life. Full of renewal. Full of funny monkeys.
We believed and prayed. We asked God for New Life. We asked for Favor and for Grace. On that veranda, through some tears.
Right on the edge of all the glorious beauty.
This morning, some years later still, I sit on a veranda again. Reading black and white words.
‘Inoperable tumor.’ ‘Aggressive cancer.’
And I am remembering. I am communing.
Many of my memories with these friends were moments when we spoke to each other, “You are not alone.”
Today, I pray That.
This scattered community that we are. Defying the physical separation of miles and life circumstance and oceans. Reconvening around one Throne.
To be heard.
Tears. And Hope. Feeling all on the edge of the glorious beauty ahead.
It still hurts.
Here on this veranda, I join with the community of other believers in the beseeching and yielding of prayer.
And we are not alone.
(Updates and prayer news for the Reppart Family can be found here.)