Sometimes I think I am capable of living. I'm normally able to make sure my children are fed and mostly clean. I can hold a conversation with people, even when I'm tired and just want to be alone. I can problem solve, pay bills, pursue our mission and find time to crush a riff on my guitar.
But the truth is, I'm helpless. Helpless like a little baby. I need, and I want, and I kid myself with the illusion of control that a capitalist economy provides. When the markets crash, when crops are struck, when conflict arises, then we find the veil lifted. When the reunion of your family is contingent on a stranger in an office completing paperwork, then you discover your complete lack of control.
I am a dependent creature. And I don't enjoy admitting to it. It makes me uncomfortable.
Sarah has been away for 25 days. The boys are still fed, mostly clean, and happy. I am not merely surviving - it really isn't a disaster in our home. But that is not because I'm really good at lists and scheduling and keeping going. Jesus has graced us with capacity for love and joy in the midst of our circumstances.
Even when it feels like my vital organs are on the other side of the world.
I need friends and help. Sometimes it comes in the form of trips to the woods with friends who make you bacon sandwiches. Sometimes it is unexpected messages of prayer and encouragement from guys I've only recently met in our Foursquare family in Great Britain. Sometimes it looks like our neighbour or school-friend families watching the boys so I can go for a run.
And I need Jesus. Most of all, I need Jesus. The times I feel so deflated, it is only in his presence through prayer, worship and the Bible that I am restored.
I need God to move and resolve the visa. But more than that I just need him.
It's something I've experienced at a much deeper level in my marriage. I adore my wife. In the normal rhythms of existence, we can get distracted by the "doings" of our days. But it is her "being" that I love.
Before she left, some people told me that her absence would make me appreciate the things she does all the more. And I get that. And I absolutely appreciate the things she does - the ways she loves and cares and nurtures our hearts and souls and lives. But I don't love her for her productivity. I love her because she is, not merely for what she does. What she does is an overflow of who she is.
So it is with the Lord. I really want and need him to take care of this visa situation, because I long to be restored to my Sarah Grace and the boys need Mummy home. But if my love for God is only as deep as the actions he can perform for me, then I only love the gift, not the Giver.
Here I wait, helpless like a baby, dependent on my Good Father to comfort me, nourish me, and keep me. We're all waiting. The only question is whether we'll receive the love and help of God or try to live life under the illusion of self-sufficiency.