Coming up on almost 2 years since I’ve posted a public blog. Radio silence.
It’s what happens when you go down. All energy conserved. No creative juices to floss together words and images. Wake up. Breathe. Endure. Repeat.
It takes a special kind of person to document survival mode in the public arena. Plodding through the well-meaning wishes, the uncomfortable reactions, the cliche responses and heaviness of loss upon loss and grief upon grief. To open the treasure of my heart and name how others met me in powerful and profound ways… I am not that person. I went down and out, quiet and withdrawn.
After 15 years of full-time ministry, I graciously was able to bow out to travel the world with a Fuller Fellowship. I graduated with my Masters of Divinity but it was as if I could not move vocationally forward until I completed the test of crisis through the Valley of the Shadow of Death and see if my faith survived. It was brutal, so much worse than my final Greek exam.
10 months turned into 17 and I was a sojourner in the world- no paycheck, no bills, no home base, no title, no job. I traversed parts of my soul never seen and crossed an internal landscape of anger and doubt, loss and suffering. On other days, I backtracked that wilderness and looked for gratefulness and hope, sometimes finding truth and belonging. I was surprised by hospitality, blessed by culture and steadied by the common thread of humanity and their goodness.
I carried my belongings in a couple of bags, I slept in airports, seedy motels, camps, Airbnbs, and strangers’ homes. I ate strange things. I saw beautiful things. I experienced terror and awe, depression and hope. I hiked to the tops of mountains, explored the depths of caves. I cried in a fetal position on the bathroom floor and squatted in front of fires in villages with no electricity. I stood watching endangered turtles swim to the sea and ran the fields playing futbol with kids. I preached in front of strangers and strangers became family. I prayed in the midst of MMA gyms, zoom calls, orthodox chapels and taxi drives. I ate with homeless in New York, rode on donkeys of shepherds in Albania and flew kites with indigenous tribes in Guatemala. I sucked the marrow out of life during my mid-life crisis, during the dark night of my soul, and it did not disappoint.
And now, I’m starting all over. Volume One ended with a riveting cliffhanger, let’s see what Volume Two holds.