Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: RASH (04/12/18)
- TITLE: Holy Ground
By Taryn Deets
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“What!?!” I turn to him, note the look of incredulity coming over his face.
“Read this!” as he hands me his phone.
As I read, I think “Who offers you a job over email?”
It was an offer letter, for an overseas University. It was Sunday night and they wanted a decision by Tuesday.
“They want you to decide within two days if we’re going to move our family of eight to Egypt? Are you kidding me?”
We sat in silence, each lost in our own thoughts, until I hear someone yell, “Woo Hoo, Joshua! Great Job!” and I look up to see my son, arms raised in victory head-butt his brother, Dan, as they run back toward center-field.
I am walking through the park, when the young man catches up and walks in step with me, pointing to my black and white Border Collie, asks where he’s from. I smile, Casey sticks out here, with his long hair and distinctive features. The only breed of dog here is African Brown dog and they are all short-haired.
“America” I respond.
“Ah, you speak Arabic?” his brown eyes dancing, smiling.
“Schwiya, schwiya.” A little. Another smile.
“How long have you been in Egypt.”
“You like it?”
I smile, “Yes.”
He teaches me a few new phrases and I do my best to repeat his words, committing them to memory.
Less than a year ago, we were trying to decide if we’d move here. We packed up and moved our family and now we’d been anticipating moving back to the US, due to all the struggles of the past year.
So many in our church had asked if we knew what we were doing; if it was safe to move to Egypt. We couldn’t possibly be responsible, thinking about taking our six children to such a place!
I wanted to ask them how safe they felt sending their kids to a public school right here at home, if they ever wondered if their child might not come home that day. With so many school shootings and loss of life in my own country just in the past four months, I am not sure any place on earth is particularly safe, depending on where you happen to be that day. What we decided despite the questions and misgivings of others, and what probably looked like a hasty and unwise decision to many of our friends and family, was that God’s plan for us was sure and we would follow it.
Now, we were struggling because of the unexpected financial strain and angry teenagers, unsure if we had heard the Lord correctly. Yet, something, despite the hardships, or Someone, was drawing me, whispering that we were to stay.
“But how Lord? You know we can’t afford to keep living here.”
“Ok, but did we hear you right, or did we make an impulsive decision? Are we struggling because we didn’t pray enough?”
I want the Lord’s assurance that we made the right decision like Joshua before the Angel of the Lord asking, “Are you for us or for our enemies?” (Joshua 5:13 NIV).
And just like in Joshua’s story, He doesn’t give me that but instead says, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” (Joshua 5:15) And right then I know, that every place that I place my foot on His earth, I can serve Him. And right now I know, He wants me to serve and worship Him right here.
My new friend? He walks on and I walk the rest of the way home, Casey tugging at the leash probably anticipating his next meal, thankful that God has reminded me that the while the places on His earth may seem different, people at least are not so different. No matter what religion or nationality, color or creed, they are all loved by Him and we are called to serve them in our little corner of the world.
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