It’s almost a new year. With an impending move next week, Christmas was a blur as we have found ourselves in the middle of a zhuang xiu (pronounced ‘jwong shee-o’) as our new place has no kitchen. At all. Maybe not the ideal situation for a family of five – but – it has a rooftop patio that looks out onto the Heavenlies; how could we say no??
I have had some deep internal wrestling about our next steps here; outgrowing our three bedroom apartment, but wanting to keep our footprint small; trying to discern whether the locals we love would resent our nicer digs. I have been analyzing my definition of ‘missions’, and after a while, if the word plays over and over in my mind it becomes nonsense; not because it doesn’t have meaning but because I think I have failed to grasp it yet. My neighbors think I’m a ‘waiguoren’ (other-country-person). I will probably always be a source of conversation and amusement as I butcher the language and let my kids wear flip flops in winter. As I search out safe meat and good coffee. As I look shyly their way and risk a smile or ‘Ni hao’. As we move to a bigger house so that we can hold prayer meetings on the roof. Maybe if I humble myself and smile big as I trip all over in discomfort then I can become thin and clear enough for Jesus to be seen through my face.
It’s funny that we don’t have an agenda or barely a plan concerning what we are doing here. We’re just here… living. Eating breakfast and crossing the street and dealing with colds and trying to get along and put each other first. Looking over into the city villages and wondering… forever wondering if my Chinese will ever be good enough; or my heart strong enough to go and sit and talk and pray with them. Or just offer the dusty kids a candy. I think I can play the fool for God. Is that ‘missions’?