I confess that after a year or so of blogging almost daily, I’ve gone dark for the last month or two. What happened? Well, we found out we needed to move again, and that I would be taking on a new leadership role, while still doing my previous role in the interim. This has meant countless trips three hours each way to our previous city over the course of the summer, seeking to be meaningfully involved in two cities and their respective church planting teams. We’ve also had many groups of visitors, sometimes overlapping. Plus fixing up the 75 year old stone house that we now live in. Throw in record temperatures, regular teaching responsibilities, some very hard unexpected things and some very good ones, a puppy and small children.
It has been a bit of a madhouse. Or, as locals say, “It’s become a donkey bazaar.”
Now, sadly we no longer have actual donkey bazaars. This would be a part of the main bazaar where one would go to buy or sell said stubborn beasts of burden. But it’s not very hard to envision the noise, the smell, the absurdity of a whole street or courtyard full of these furry creatures, braying and jostling all together, prospective customers slapping their rumps and inspecting their gums. It’s a local language idiom I was glad to learn, and one that has already proved very useful in daily conversation. One could use it to describe a crazy season, as I am here – or perhaps to describe the current state of Christian Twitter.
However, in spite of the pace and the challenges, we have seen God’s kind provision for us and his active help toward us over the summer. Key lessons have been soaking in. The importance of self-aware humility and the danger of self-deception. The frightening truth that “we become what we tolerate.” The consequences of drinking unfiltered Central Asian well water in the summer. The importance of never again letting battery acid spill all over the interior of my car. The glory of God displayed in coffee and bacon smuggled in from the West. You know, the basics.
Through it all, God has been faithful. And I have missed writing. This season of letting it slip away has cemented my desire to get back into the daily habit. Some creatures just can’t think quite as well until they’ve put things down on paper, or on a screen. Apparently I have been wired in this way. And with the complexities of my particular donkey bazaar, I am frankly not sure I can afford not to write. Or at least I will not be as fully alive without it, which again, is something I’m not sure I can afford. “The glory of God is man fully alive” goes the somewhat mistranslated ancient Irenaeus quote.
To everyone who has read my blog until now, and to those of you who even subscribed during my absence, my sincerest thanks.