05 December, 2014

   Marlin's still in the land of golden streets and money trees.

  Not heaven.


  At least that's how some Kenyans view the land of my birth. They think that as Americans we don't have hurts, or pain, or heartbreak, and that our Nike clad feet stroll over streets that belong in heaven. They will smile when we talk of how to live through tears but they will admit readily, and have admitted, that we can go back to our America where the money flow never ends and people rarely die. Somehow our hurts just aren't as deep. Or so they think.

Jennifer's Gardens. A beautiful retreat where the missionaries can escape the pollution of the big city and soak up some serious beauty. 

They are wrong. But from the viewpoint of mud huts and constant death, i understand. Or as much as i am able with the luxury of my heritage and the wealth of my homeland. There has to be a way to show them that we hurt and cry as hard as they do but i'm afraid that until we share their mud huts and live their pain, they won't believe.

  If they have a child dying from dysentery, they can't call the mission board or family, and be flown across the wide blue sky to hospitals where the floors are spotless and the medicine advanced. Sometimes tho, i wonder if we don't also suffer from having so much handed to us. Our faith becomes flabby and our rights tightly held.

 There's times I wonder if we fight too hard to keep ourselves alive. People spend thousands and millions on loved ones, saying you can't put a price on life. I agree. Completely.... but if the death of a saint causes God to rejoice at a loved one of His coming home, why do we fight and scream at God when it happens.

  I think of Hadassah. From the moment we heard she was going to die, we knew we needed to release her. To pound the gates of heaven and demand a miracle just wasn't an option. Sometimes it is. Sometimes God asks us to challenge Him and to ask for healing. Sometimes He seems to ask us to simply let go and believe that death is not the worst that can happen. Either way the pain is cutting and the hurt real, just as the healing and triumph over death is also real.

Some missionary children that keep hanging around. :) 

  This week a Kenyan whose testimony really touched our lives as a family, went home to Jesus. If you have ever read the book, "A Good Different" you will remember Musikala. A drunk and a wife beater who got delivered and set free. He died of a lung infection this week and part of me wonders why God took him when there seem so few for real christians in Kenya. But i can't grieve for him. I find my heart rejoicing that he is in the presence of God Himself. I grieve for his family. Being a widow is not an easy thing and being a widow in Kenya brings a level of hard that is not easy for us to grasp.

  I can't help but wonder if we could see past this veil that keeps us from seeing heaven, if maybe we would release our loved ones quicker.

  Unless they aren't ready. Then we storm the gates of heaven and weep for God to have mercy. We struggle to believe that His hand is bigger than the lies that bind the hearts of unbelief.

I wonder what their future holds????

  Somehow tho, we keep living, one day and one faith crisis at a time.


  1. So much of what you're saying here is what's been going around and around in my mind lately.... I grasp so little of the big picture!!

  2. This past week, I walked thru a very painful experience with a close loved one. The Lord brought the song to my mind one morning when I was praying about this situation: My God, I Thank Thee...(the following verse in particular):

    "I thank thee more that here our joy
    is touched with pain;
    That shadows fall on brightest hours,
    That thorns remain;
    So that earth's bliss may be our guide,
    And not our chain."

    I 'heard' this verse come singing through my heart as I was praying, almost like the angels were singing it, and it warmed my heart to feel great longing to go Home...

    And ever since, I've just had many opportunities to ponder how all our joy is touched with pain...I mean, down to the good old-fashioned crockpot mac and cheese I made for memory's sake from my childhood to bless the husband on Sunday for lunch but it was an epic fail for whatever reason...and I just thought yeah, even that joy was touched with pain. And I decided that God must really be trying to remind me of this fact right now! :)

    I say all that to say, that America or Kenya, there is joy mixed with pain (by no means am I diminishing the fact that America appears to Kenyans to be flowing with milk and honey and must surely be heaven)...and it reminds us that 'here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come".

    Sending you love and blessings always,

    I miss you.

  3. Dear Darla, My name is Lorna Stierle. I am a good friend of Natasha's from back in KY. I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading these words from your heart. I will be praying for your family and look forward to reading more about your journey there in Kenya. Perhaps we will even meet someday when we come to visit :). May the Lord's blessings abound to you.

  4. Hi Lorna, so glad you stopped by! We would love to meet if the opportunity ever presents itself. Charlton's are a special family to us.

    Hi Marcia, i'm sorry for the pain you're walking through but i KNOW that good will come out of it.

    ...and Bethany, i've never met you but it's an honor to have you visit and even leave comments. That's more than what i usually do when i read blogs. :) Blessings!


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