It had been planned, now, for months. First came an interview, then the letter (“you’ve been accepted”), then training and fundraising and more preparation. And then, all at once, the day arrived…
On the last day of March as winds blustered and blew, they prayed. Father and son, heads bent, arms encircled, and the father spoke blessing over son.
Departing for work (that was Father), it was Mother’s turn. Cycling last-minute laundry through, snatching out jeans to be slipped into luggage, at last the traveler was ready. A quick to-go Starbucks, more prayer in a great circle, final goodbyes and Godspeed! IMPACT 2016 was off, and there went a piece of my heart. With blue eyes.
Front row, far left, is Beloved Arrow Three. His goal on this trip, from his lips to God’s ears, is this, “I just want whatever God has for me on this trip.”
In the quietness of my home, peace comes stealing. Peace and gratitude and joy that I’ve lived to see this great day. With the departure of our third-born son, we are truly an international family, for we six are spread out over three continents. What?! And how?
For weeks now, as the big day approached, an image has been fixed in my mind. And that’s arrows.
“As arrows are in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth (Ps. 127:4).” That’s what the Shepherd Boy said, and I feel it’s truth in my heart.
Arrows and quivers and a strong and wise Archer who launches them off to the target…of His choosing. Arrows a-flying, and my sons.
In the seven months that our World Racer’s been gone, his journey’s been amazing. From Albania to Kosovo to Greece, then on to South Africa and Asia, my jaw drops straight down at what he’s done, what he’s seen.
An amphitheater where the Apostle Paul once spoke and legend says Titus was martyred. The Temple of Zeus, the Parthenon. The Olympic stadium. Victoria Falls and an African safari, and the peace and utter quiet of the Kalahari.
We’ve not seen that, his father and I.
He’s touched orphans, fed refugees. Roofed a church, weeded gardens. Performed a skit, danced his heart out and folks were saved.
We’ve not done that.
In my peaceful home on this side of the globe, I’m in awe. Stand amazed, and now, again, flesh and blood has been launched. The target? Kenya, where abandoned babies need families, need love, await adoption. And some have AIDS.
We’ve not done that. We’ve not been there. We’ve not seen them.
Meanwhile, two precious arrows remain. They await their own launching, the sending. The going and seeing and doing.
One of them happily larks his way through life, loving Jesus, coping with math, and loving his family with all those big brothers. That’s Little, our blue-eyed caboose.
The other one, Little’s biggest Big Brother, is seeking God’s direction. He’s faithfully working and paying student loans, and he’s wanting to go back to school. For his masters or a second bachelor’s degree. He’s narrowed it down to two choices, and both of them boggle my mind. What potential! What opportunities. What a difference he’ll make in the world.
In the world where his father and I haven’t been and can’t go.
An arrow, flying. Grace, amazing.
One last truth about arrows today. If you’ve got an arrow (as I once had, too) that’s gone off track, missed the target, take heart. The Creator and Sustainer, the Archer Divine, has a beautiful way of reclaiming and redeeming. He looks for the lost, broken arrows, and He mends them.
He repairs and restores, and He strengthens them up. Then He launches them to the right target.
Where you haven’t been and can’t go.
In the grand and wild way of an impossibly imaginative God, He will use their “lost-broken” for the good–for something great! On that hope, my heart rests. In His love, my soul stands. For into His hands, I’ve committed our arrows. Fly on!