This was a note I posted on Facebook after the Dominican Republic trip as a way to encourage our participants to hold onto everything that was experienced during that special week. I hope it speaks to you, too, whether you participated in missions this summer and/or continue to participate it in on a regular basis here throughout the year in Easton. May you know that you are an expression of God’s compassion!
“But, first, remember, remember, remember the signs. Say them to yourself when you wake in the morning and when you lie down at night, and when you wake in the middle of the night. And whatever strange things may happen to you, let nothing turn your mind from following the signs. And secondly, I give you a warning. Here on the mountain I have spoken to you clearly: I will not often do so down in Narnia. Here on the mountain, the air is clear and your mind is clear; as you drop down into Narnia, the air will thicken. Take great care that it does not confuse your mind. And the signs which you have learned here will not look at all as you expect them to look, when you meet them there. That is why it is so important to know them by heart and pay no attention to appearances. Remember the signs and believe the signs. Nothing else matters.”
— C.S. Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia)
These are Aslan’s words and instructions to little Jill Pole before she heads down into the valley on her adventure. The adventure for us seems to have ended with our return from the DR trip, but in reality, the adventure is always beginning.
We saw a lot in the DR this past week. Now that we are back in reality whether it is in Westfield or in the Lehigh Valley it is all too easy to forget all the signs we saw in those profoundly moving 10 days…signs of God’s love and presence…in the faces of the Dominicans, in the laughter of the children, in the simple moments that only involved hand games, frisbees, and pebbles, in the laying of stone and concrete…in the dancing, the listening, the singing…
Keep remembering, writing, and following the signs. Think about what was stirred in you in those moments. Think about what made you feel so alive in those moments. Think about the purpose you felt in those moments. Think about the fire God put in you in those moments. Think about how it felt to be someone’s answer to prayer. Hold on to them, remind each other of them, keep looking for them here around us now, and believe…because nothing else matters. What we felt and saw and heard and understood in our deepest selves in those moments together in La Javilla we were meant to BE here and now…
And most importantly, keep being someone’s answer to prayer…someone’s hope fulfilled…someone’s joy realized…for then you are truly living out God’s love and grace!