God Got It Right With People

I am here tonight, sitting on the front porch of my home in Texas. It is August and a bit chilly when the wind picks up. Global warming is taking it’s toll on North Texas tonight.

I just got through quietly brushing my daughters’ hair. And wrestling with the boys in their beds. Being a dad is absolutely all that it is cracked up to be.

Imagine for a moment that you’re sitting outside and you look up at the sky. It isn’t all that inviting. There are low-lying clouds, the breeze is brisk, and the sounds around you are a bit eerie. You realize that outside isn’t where you want to be. You are ready to go indoors and get away from these feelings. You think that being in your bed with the blankets over you and one of your favorite movies playing on the TV would make things better. Well, let’s so you do go inside and lay in your bed, but that same sky can be seen, the same breeze can be felt, and those sounds get closer and scarier. Oh, and that warm blanket is replaced with a torn mosquito net…

…last week, I was in Honduras. I was on a mission trip with the church that Liz and I and our kids have been attending for a little over a month now. I lived in Brazil for seven years, but had never been on a mission trip. I worked with mission teams and did mission-isque work, but never while serving on a specific missions team. And you know what worried me most? That I was loving on those kids from those local villages where we were serving more than I loved on my kids back home. Did I hug them enough? Did I encourage them enough? Was I being the dad they needed?

I saw a church sign one time that read “The Largest Room in the World is the Room for Improvement.” I learned a lot this last week by watching others. Because I love to talk, I am still learning to listen. I learned that life is not necessarily a gift, but rather a tool. We are to do something with our lives, rather than just living it. If given the opportunity, what would the men that I worked beside on the day I worked at the construction do if they came to the States to start a new life?

Love is the ultimate global language. It is sang about, written about, thought about, sought after, fought for, and misused everywhere. It has been studied and over-analyzed. But how often do we question where it got started? What did the author of love have in mind when He created it. Said author has even given us a definition.

I discovered a lot about myself while I was in Honduras. I learned that loneliness is a sickness that I was living in that kept me from feeling loved. Sure, people told me they loved me; some people even tried to show me, but I blew it off as a charity case. A bit of pro bono love if you will. But God got a little sick and tired of my stupid attitude. And on Wednesday of last week, He allowed me to break.

I am known to over-do-it all the time. My dad even tried to protect me from myself before I left. WOW! Dad, did your ever run so true. On Wednesday, the fourth day being in Honduras, I was out playing soccer with a bunch of the school kids that we had been with earlier that morning during Vacation Bible School. While running around full speed for a bit, I all of a sudden start feeling woozy. My stomach started cramping up and I started getting these tingly feelings down both my arms. After a few minutes, I had to hurry to the other side of the school bus and dry-heave for about five minutes. Well, ridiculously, I came back out and played another ten minutes of soccer before, thankfully, the game was called.

Now, by this point of the week, I hadn’t drank any water. It was primarily some water and some Coke with an energy drink or two mixed in. I know that doesn’t quite cut it when spending a week much closer to the equator than normal. So, needless to say, after the game, I walked over to the shack next to the field and bought a nice cold bottle of Coca-Cola classic. (I never got to taste it.) I walked onto the bus to leave with the bottle in my grasp and sat down on one of those green school bus benches. I then just stared out the front windshield. I couldn’t really move or talk. I was beaten. I was out. Someone then asked me if I was okay. All I could do was shake my head no. Immediately, helped was called for and the next thing I knew, I was drenched. They poured water over me to cool my body down, while I drank Gatorade. I was then carried off the bus and couriered back to the camp where we were staying.

After way too much Gatorade, a shot of Fenagrin, and a whole lot of sleep, I felt better physically. But the biggest difference was the change within. I was given the chance to get over myself, shed myself of the sinking sense of loneliness, and really start living. There was no drug, alcohol, or vice required. It only took a trip to Honduras halved with a day of heat exhaustion to get me to where I needed to be. (I don’t recommend this procedure.)

I’m back now. I am in the middle of helping my family move, getting the kids in good schools, and trying to stay focused on work. But, am doing this surrounded by people I truly hear. God definitely got it right with the people He has around me.

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2 Responses to “God Got It Right With People”

  1. In tears again as I hear the story again…and visualize your trip from your words, and thinking about the stories I have heard in the last few days since you got home. Glad you got the opportunity to go and so thankful that you are home safe and doing well and had such a life changing experience. 🙂 love you hun!!

  2. After reading this, thanking God some more, and reflecting awhile, I thought about how your life, as well as Liz’s, and the experience of all of us related to you seven, reminds me of Romans 13. Specifically, I’m thinking of Romans 13:12-13,

    “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. and now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

    Those three have gotten you all there, and us here, through the last four years. I’m thankful you are seeing a somewhat clearer reflection in that proverbial mirror after your and Liz’s faithful decision that you you were to go on that mission trip. Sounds like faith, hope and love was sown and grown from Honduras to Texas. As you all live and love through this needed move that so many have asked the Lord to grant you, know that the Love, Praise & Prayers continue from MomDad and all who pray with and for us. We’ll see you soon in your new home.

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