For now, I'll skip to the end of the descent, when we were all laying on the dewy grass, staring at the stars, and the only emotion my pounding heart could contain was overwhelming wonder at a love poured out on me that is too big for my soul to wrap itself around. I have some amazing friends, whom I have come to love and trust deeply. And I know they love me too, because over and over they have been willing to carry me, bear my burdens, and walk with me through tough times (physically, emotionally, and spiritually), for the sake of witnessing and experiencing beauty, glory and majesty in the end together. Under that starry sky, I was quiet and still, resting in that love and trying to get a handle on this deeper feeling that kept whispering to me, "This is the gospel in action... This is like the love of Christ..."
God is doing incredibly adventurous things in the world... in the flat farmlands of Indiana... in the unpredictable inner city of Fort Wayne... in our little Hobbit Hole... and I am constantly in awe of the fact that he invites me to be a part of his work. I say yes to following him because I know he is good and trustworthy, but at the same time I have no idea what is ahead - terrifying or thrilling. He doesn't really share that information upfront; he just asks me to trust him, so I do. Then I find myself caught up in his arms, and he is carrying me to places and relationships and experiences I never dreamed possible. When I try to control or analyze his ways, tone down the danger and risk, or even back out of his hairbrained ideas, things may get tangled up and delayed, and I may cause obstacles and pain that were not intended to be there. But that is when he reminds me that he knows what he is doing, and that I don't have to do anything but abide in him, trust him, and let him do what he will do.
This is a hard journey to take, because I cannot boast in anything but my weakness and dependence on him. But the good news is, I can rest and be close to him, feeling the steady rhythm of his heartbeat and each sure-footed step he takes toward the fulfillment of his dreams. And life is worth the living when he invites me to jump in his backpack and join him in his adventure and witness his power, majesty, and love.