night is "far spent." I'm tired; bone-weary. The cup of coffee that
has been keeping me company must have been sitting in front of me
for hours - I just took a sip and the black liquid is as cold as
In just about 24
hours I will board another airplane, find another seat, buckle
another seat belt, and watch the concrete runway transform itself
into blue sky. It's a familiar course we will set: Across the
Cascade mountains, and then the Rockies, followed by the Great
Plains and then southward, across Georgia, coming to rest at
Atlanta. I know the terminal there like I know my own back
yard. I'll exit the plane and move to
another gate where I'll watch the clock move towards my
next departure time, the interminable waiting more
exhausting than driving nails into wood for eight hours. Then
another flight will be ready and we'll make
our way north, from Georgia's pines to Maine's woods, and then our
craft will plunge out over Newfoundland, piercing the airspace over
the cold Atlantic, passing by Greenland's white ice mass and
Iceland's green valleys. And then, some eighteen hours after I began my journey, we'll land again, this time in London, England.
My friends there
are more family than they are mere acquaintances. We've been through
fire and wind and rain together. I've agonized in prayer with them,
waiting to see God's salvation and deliverance come.
They've prayed for me - for my family - during times of crisis and
pain. And together we've watched the hand of God intervene, drive
out the enemy, bring healing and strength and provision and blessing.
This is why I do
what I do; why I endure the long, cramped flights and the cold,
remote concourses. It's why I don't mind arriving somewhere, far
away, exhausted before I've begun to pour out. It's why I endure the
painful separations from family. Because this is what the church is
intended to be. Brothers, literally, and sisters, walking
together, believing together, hoping together, holding one another
when one is weak and one is strong.
I've seen enough
of surface, fair-weather Christianity to last a life-time. I'm
hungry for relationship, for sharing good times and bad times,
victory and defeat, laughter and sadness, dancing and mourning with someone who likewise is willing - who desires the same kind of
And so, in less
than 24 hours, I'll gladly move into the confines of another jet
aircraft, strap myself to a miniature seat and settle in for a
journey not to another church, but to family.
What is it you
would be willing to do to get to somebody who is real, who is your
true friend, brother, sister, companion? May I suggest you just go
ahead and do it? I can promise you, the pain of getting there is
worth the joy of arriving.
In His grace,