Wednesday, September 24, 2014

what skype and homesickness taught me about God

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part, but then I shall know fully even as I am fully known. -Corinthians 13:12

Today I realized my relationship with God is something like a bad Skype connection.
After 3 ½ months in Cameroon, Central Africa, and looking forward to another 2 months of internship away from my family, I know something about bad Skype connections. I know calculating time differences and desperation to see the faces of the people I love, miscommunication and missing them by 2 minutes, lying awake in my mosquito net re-reading gratitude journal entries about family because I’ve run out of internet credit and Camtel isn’t open till Monday.
But I know also the joy of my Yaoundé balcony seat, curled up telling my family my adventures and worries; I know sitting shoulder to shoulder with my Kribi sister Marcelle, the unstoppable smiles as my sisters meet across the world; I know memorizing details in the middle of the market, storing up my best stories for them; I know how this stilted connection helps homesickness and makes it worse simultaneously, it’s a taste of the real thing that comforts and entices. I played catch up, splicing together their delayed image with garbled words, gathering enough of the gist to give joy but prolong frustration.

Because the fuzzy pixelated beauty of my baby sister’s face cannot compare to the moment when I was finally home and could kiss her chubby cheeks. Squealing with my sisters about boys and impatiently demanding they Skype the next day to give me the next installment of their current life-story meant I missed out on being physically there. But I was delighted to find that, a continent away, I was still very much a part of their life story, and they mine. It wasn’t perfect, but it was enough to get me through.
And that, I realized, is God. Through sunshine and coffee morning devotions, underlined passages and dog eared  Bibles, late night conversations with people who know my soul, tall pines and red needle carpets, I get little pixelated images, but I have to do the brainwork and put together the picture, the face of God in my life.

And these glimpses of God satisfy my soul and makes me more hungry at the same time, it’s a taste of the homecoming that’s coming, when he shall live amongst us. It’s realizing that all of history is leading up to the real homecoming that waits.

Look, God's home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. -Revelation 21:3 

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