Friday, August 17, 2007

I heard from Junior in Lima, and he is fine. He feels kind of silly because he didn't even feel the earthquake when others were running in the streets as a result of it. He requests you continue to pray for his country.

When BJ was younger, we enjoyed the movie "The Fox and the Hound." We would watch it together, and he would imitate Todd, the baby fox, trying to howl like the bloodhounds. I can still hear his little voice as he did this, as he was amazingly similar to the actual voice.

As he grew, he would imitate that scene from time to time. I always laughed at his impression. I will also always remember it.

Some time after this, I read a story about a mother who had a son named Todd. I remember the story but forget many of the details. The name Todd, means Fox. That is significant to both "The Fox and the Hound," and to this story, as the young man named Todd, died. His mother was heartbroken. She lived in a densely populated area of the northeast, where wildlife was seldom if ever seen within the city limits.

One day shortly after she had lost her son, and was grieving hard, a fox appeared in her backyard. Although she was startled initially, it was a significant blessing to her. She became aware of the extraordinary symbolism as the fox appeared each morning.

In the wake of significant loss, such things can bring healing to those who are mourning. (There was much more to this story, but I only remember this)

In the spring of 2004, before we moved to the Camp where I would join the staff, you may remember me sharing about the experience BJ and I had camping. One evening as we sat by the fire, we saw movement across the valley. After grabbing the binoculars, we discovered that baby foxes were playing outside their den.

We slowly crawled that direction to unsuspecting baby foxes who romped like kittens. We watched them for an hour or two as dusk turned to dark. We were both so excited about our rare opportunity that we struggled to sleep.

It became a story we would share over and over. We even took family back out to see them, but their mother had detected our scent, and moved them to a new den.

I can't explain why, but I have thought about these things from time to time, never really trying to connect any of them. When BJ died, I didn't go looking for baby foxes. Precious memories of all kinds replayed as if they could not stop. The echoes of his voice baying like a baby fox pretending to be a baby hound still makes me smile.

For many years, I have known the Lord was moving me in a particular direction. A direction in ministry I have not really wanted to follow. Still, He has gently provided me opportunities to proceed in ways that lead down this path.

This week has become landmark to me as I have been given opportunities that I did not want to follow. Opportunities that are the gateway to new areas of ministry that I would prefer to let others who are more proficient than I, pursue.

I have struggled in more ways than I can articulate. My natural "fight or flight" response has been laden with thoughts of "flight." I have wanted to run far and hard from this as it stretches me to limits only the Lord can perfect.

The timing of these opportunities coincide with the anniversary of BJ's death and birthday. Two dates that are five days apart.

I have been struggling so much with the obedience factor, that I have missed details.

I know that God equips those he calls. I teach that.

I have asked Him over and over if He really needs me to take these next steps of obedience. Simultaneously, I have said to Deanna, "I know BJ would want me to do this, but this is not about what he would want, but about obedience to God, and I just want to be sure I am doing the right thing."

Two different men are vessels in this story. They each are in positions of authority in different ministries. They have each asked something of me for the period of time running on and over these emotional dates.

I have dreaded giving them my "yes." I have dreaded it, because it means I must jump off of the cliff of faith, and free fall into the trust and rest of provide where I quickly come to the end of my own strength, and must depend on His.

Yesterday afternoon, I would hear from them both. They would call back to back. There were literally seconds between hanging up with one, and having the other on the line.

I was very confused, however. While their voices were nothing alike, their requests were. But that is not why I was confused.

What was going on? How had I missed a very simple detail that suddenly meant so much? It reflected affirmation, divine participation, and even strong emotional memories of one I love dearly.

I knew I had to give my "yes" to both. I did not want to give it to either. I had sought the Lord hard, for His answers to these questions, yet His Spirit had already moved within me, and I knew I had to say "yes." My struggle was not over God's answer, it is over the depth of my need for His provision. What He has called me to, is not within me. What He is asking of me, are not things I am good at. Still, I know that if He has called me, He will equip me.

As I hung up the phone with one, and immediately answered the phone with the other, my initial confusion begged for an answer to the question, "how did I miss this detail before?" Then, confusion would turn to clarity as I realized both men were named..."Todd."

Though it took me awhile, the Lord knew I would eventually see this thread, and He would use it to bring me affirmation.



At 10:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brent, being obedient is a tough and uncomfortable thing, but it does bring glory to our Father. Your son knew this and was committed to it . . . he and the Father are smiling today! Be confident that He will provide all you need! Your blog family will continue to pray for you.

At 4:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am praying for you. God is awesome. He is good about giving us the affirmation we need -- even if we are slow to pick up on it. But this just goes to show that God is not silent.

Laura A.

At 10:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, we will continue to pray!

What a blessing He gives in those personal hugs of affirmation, comfort, and love.

We praise Him for your witness and willingness.

At 5:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

those pictures of bj were great and so was that message!


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