lost & found

I am the woman with nine silver coins who sweeps the whole house inside out looking for the one coin lost. Or in my case four lost rings.

Our kitchen here in Florida is looking a bit empty these days.  Stripped to foundations, walls ready for all things to be made new.  I understand the stripping, the baring of what lies beneath, the losing of what seems {and is} valuable.

It isn’t the metals fused and twisted to carry stones that makes these things precious.  It’s not their stones, it’s their stories.  In a way like us.  Our stories always add value to what we carry. It is the giving and receiving and reminding.  All of this gone somewhere between Ohio and Florida, how I don’t know, in a season where branches let go of their flame to stand bare before the wind.  Will I lift up empty hands so willingly and remember bare does not have to mean barren?

But I haven’t been willing. Being brutally honest here.  That this space becomes an altar I lay my story with all its frayed edges and unfinished corners on.  I’ve been angry {at myself}, sad, frantic, upset and anything but willing.  Part of me is still not willing.  Resigned yes, willing not entirely.

I fight to hold on, heart pierced through with loss again.  I know they were just twisted elements forged from the earth.  It isn’t their substance that hurts.  It’s that whole feeling of loss which burns so very deep.

I know this feeling.  All too well.  These rings given to replace still other rings stolen in Africa. Yes it’s all just metal but it is metal fused with memories and that can never be replaced It can only be redeemed. Now these redemption rings seem gone as well.  And I stand with bare hands and a quivering heart.  I do NOT like loss.  Ever.  Not this way.

Giving something away is one thing.  Having it stolen, stripped, lost… something entirely different. But in the stripping and the ripping and the loss of it all, can it become a torn place to see through to God?  I must choose to believe that it can.  Sanity is only found in seeing through the storm to Him.

And it all comes in this month of trees wearing flame and standing brave.  Brave and bowed when things burn and bluster.  Letting go their leaves and I wonder do the trees ever hold on to that which the wind tries to carry away?

I am holding on.  I know no gift can be given to clenched hands. I know that.  But there are days the fight is to let go.

This letting go does not happen in the first 48 hours at least. {If I can’t let go, what then? What is truly holding me?}

Only when the gale has blown me through and I have no choice but to bend and loosen my grasp on the air.  It all blows hard and fierce and shreds the schedules too.  No Asia trip.  Not now.  Rather a baring branches of rings and plans to put roots deep, looking for restoration because this body of mine is in need of finding some miracles.  Miracles and rings… they become one in this place.

My face aches with nerves that can’t let go and my heart is learning what my jaw has yet to.  Gifts cannot be received with clenched fists, jaws or hearts.  So, yes, I know the woman who sweeps the house until she finds the one.  I know her so well.  She is me.  And I lean hard, HARD on grace.  Not for this day but for the moments in it when the one coin has yet to be found.

My rings are still missing and my body is still waiting, but I do know about finding the truest treasures of all one by one.  Each of them a miracle and worth more than any ring…

This Christmas season dear friends, we have a gift.  A gift of opportunity to see each of our Iris children in Yei fully sponsored.

When all our children are fully sponsored, the children’s village they live in will have a stable stream of what they need every month to provide for their needs.  Food, clothes, school, carers, medicine… you get the idea.  The more people join us in caring for our children, the more children we will be able to help.  But right now we need to get each of our children fully sponsored so the projects they depend on are properly funded.

Starting at $35/month, you can link arms with us and help us care for the precious treasures Papa has brought us.  Found.  Every one of them is… foundWe are believing to see EVERY child in the care of our Yei Children’s Village fully sponsored by this Christmas.  {Find out more about our sponsorship structure on the irissouthsudan.org website here.}

The whole month of November I will be posting new stories from my last trip into South Sudan in August, highlights from our history, a walk along unpaved roads in Africa.  You can help us by sharing these posts with your friends and between all of us together, we can see a miracle happen yet again!

Would you consider with kicking this month off by tweeting this post or sharing it with a friend on Facebook?  You might not be able to sponsor one of our children but maybe you can help us share the story.

Won’t you consider being part of a miracle this Christmas?