Archive for January, 2009
I was driving into work listening to our favorite band, Over the Rhine, and a favorite song of mine that they did on their view of faith ‘Like a Radio’ and remembered.
confused/ever since i spied you in the rooms of my mind/now i can’t deny you
bleeding and bruised/like a vagabond in rags i’ve walked the streets to you door/to find just what’s in store
i see you/you and many others in your clean well-lighted place/where i would find disgrace
but i do/know i’d find contentment just to be your furniture/i need nothing more
In the thick of the night, take me out of the cold, let me sing inside like a radio.
I remember hearing this on the way home from Urbana 96, so many years ago, and being ipacted with not only the relevance to my world at the moment, but the desire to sing, to be useful, to dispense beauty, grace, and information. The comparsion stuck with me. It was that night I was healed of a bit of hurt and dissapointment in my life at the moment. It was also the night Melissa and I first confessed our love for each other.
Four years later, It’s Urbana 2000 and a talk that was given on the ministry of adoption jarred us into the possiblity that we, as a married couple, might adopt cross culturally one day. I remember that Urbana God stretching my understanding of his scope and desire for my life and the world.
Six years later, we volunteered at Urbana ’06 where there was an evening on Africa and the AIDS crisis and the intractable poverty that was so deeply entrenched in the population. I remember my heart being torn from me as we walked through a world vision booth and encountered the story of a little girl who contracted AIDS. I remember my heart longing for her and the desire to love her. Later on that night we ate a dinner of CSB (Corn Soy Blend) designed to help starvation victims gain nutrition. My heart was again changed, and I recounted it for the Urbana website.
I heard a talk by Matt Chandler on event-driven living and the dangers of going from one spiritual high to the next and the importance of living in the inbetween. It made me think of my past Urbanas and the temptation some might find in accusing my story of that. But, Urbanas have been the equivilant, it seems, of mile markers on my road. Everybody celebrates a new year on January 1st, everybody knows how many miles there are between one point and the next and those are arbitrary things. Urbanas have been beautiful moments to stick my head above the tree line, look aorund, see the direction God is heading and then go.
Urbana ’06 was also a time that my expectations of my life and what I wanted to do were disloged and the direction changed a bit. As I look back 2 years ago to those evenings I’m so thankful for God changing things up, for drawing us to Ethiopia and our daughter and showing us the love he has for her. It was an unexpected turn, and things could have been very different, but they weren’t. I still can see myself writing that article for urbana.org and not fully contemplating where that evening would take us. Next year it happens again and there is a whole new raft of people that God will be bringing to that conference and shaking things up for. Whether we are able to go or not, I find myself burdened already to be praying for those people, for that time and for the countless numbers who will be affected by those days, for they, too, to have an opportunity to sing like a radio.
Maybe because I was emboldened after watching the Gosslins wander out, or maybe it was the countless hords of kids that I see wondering around the mall on any given day, but today was the day. We ventured out. Alone.
It’s winter here and life has had me slow lately. Granted, there are problems that need to get addressed, but for the most part, we’ve been slow since Iona came home; we’ve just been trying to get our sea legs. Well, this afternoon I decided to try venturing out with Iona, Aidan, and myself to the Childrens Discovery Museum in Normal. Melissa was catching up on some work and so we decided to try it out.
Well, here was the story of our fateful trip. Getting to the car was an adventure. Aidan, the fasionista, decided that his shoes didn’t work for him, that his socks were too tight and that his jeans didn’t match…or something. Iona leaked and required an immediate change so her coat came off and we changed her. After about 25 minutes from the start, we finally got in the car and headed out. The only victim of our trip was Iona’s right sock; we’ll remember you, wherever you are.
We got there and it was fabulous. The first floor of the museum was such that activities for Iona and Aidan were within eyesight of each other. I sat in between both activities and watched Iona crawl around the baby yard and Aidan play with cars on a giant car track set.
We moved up to the 3rd floor after some time and continued our fun. Then, it was time to go the bathroom because *shazam* Iona leaked again. Off we go to the bathroom. Now, here’s where it gets interesting. We’re doing cloth diapers and generally they are wonderful and save a ton of money. BUT, it’s almost impossible to smell test a baby, in my opinion. So, in my naive confidence, I start to undress Iona and change her out of her dirty clothes. I encouraged Aidan to go to the bathroom and I started getting things going.
Things I didn’t prepare for
- Aidan not being able to reach the TP himself
- Me, suddenly, needing to go
- The fact that Iona totally popped all over her diaper, which I found out when I opened up her diaper and stood her up and stuff just came out all over the place. Good times.
Well, I thought I would be able to reach the wipes which I found out were at the bottom of the diaper bag. Then, two wipes in I discovered that I needed more. Then, those were in a zipper on the side of the diaper bag. Oh, and the other two situations blew up a bit more. So, should you had walked in at that particular moment, you would have seen a mound of clothes, lots of poop and Aidan laughing at it all. So, I got Iona buttoned back up and started to clean things up a bit and before I knew it Iona was crawling across the floor and peeking up at Aidan from the other side of the stall.
The humor of that moment is not something I’ll forget anytime soon.
A little taste of Iona’s laughing around our house: