Monday, February 04, 2008

Lauren and Rusty Kennedy at our book release party. They are seated on the quilt made for us by Linda Ronne, from this blog family. The reverse side of it has pictures and writings of BJ sewn into the fabric. It's really quite amazing!

One of the things I struggle with that the Lord has been growing me in, at this point in my life is stepping out of my comfort zone.

I have written before about being a person of routine. I like to have them, they make my world more tangible. It is easier to face each day knowing that certain things will happen in a certain way and at certain times.
Our lives seem to be becoming less and less routine, as we are drawn to new places with new things to do, meeting new people, some who are movers and shakers in the Christian world.
Several months ago, I believe I shared a story about going to meet with the producers of "The End of the Spear." We spent several hours together. Of the men in that meeting, I connected with one in particular. I never expected anything to result from this. Again, it was a situation of finding common ground and getting "comfortable."

This past week, those same men came to our offices. I cannot tell you that I know for sure why they came, or what will result of our time together praying and sharing hearts. I can tell you that I know the Lord is doing a work.

Once again, I was drawn to one particular man. The same man.
At lunch, I was seated next to him. We began to talk about our backgrounds, something we did not get to do last time. In the process of this, we began to explore on a personal level, where we had grown up, where our families were from, etc.

In the course of this discussion we realized very quickly that our families had grown up very near each other. So near, in fact, that I recognized some of the names of his family members.
This is a man who lives in Oklahoma City and has for some time. I lived in Indiana, and now Tulsa and had never heard of him.

To make our world seem desperately small, through the course of getting to know each other, we discovered that not only did our families grow up near each other, and not only did we recognize names from each others families, but this man I had never met or heard of before a few months ago, was connected to me.
His mother's brother married my mother's sister!

Somehow, I think that makes us cousins by marriage! I cannot tell you how strange it was in those moments to realize this! At the same time, I found myself wondering, Lord what are you doing here? Is there more of a reason for all of this than I can fathom?

This morning, I received an email from the oldest daughter (my cousin) from that marriage. Guess who elses name was included in the address section of this email? I never would have looked at it twice before. On this day, the name jumped out at me and I wasn't even looking for it!
There are no coincidences in what the Lord binds together.
Suddenly, I find the accomplishments of my friend (and cousin?) to have new meaning. I remember when Deanna and I went to see "The End of the Spear." It was not long after BJ had passed. We felt a connection with this movie that is a bit hard to portray. One of the couples who inspired this man and helped put him on the path that led to his involvement with this movie, was the same couple I looked at and revered for their service to the Lord.

They were missionaries to the Navajo Indians throughout much of their lives. My aunt died a few years ago from cancer, but the legacy she left behind with her children and extended family has found its way to the stitchings of a new relationship.

Both of us revered Uncle Ward and Aunt Hattie. They lived their lives outside of their comfort zones and made a difference for the Kingdom. They had a deep impact on the lives of two men who though on different roads are drawn closer to the hem of Christ, because of simple obedience.
They taught us not to embrace the world, but the people in the world who need our Savior's love.
What an incredible God we serve!


At 1:10 AM, Blogger ritaleelovesyou said...

That is so crazy but so cool at the same time. Everything happens for a reason. Nothing is a coincidence. I mean all you can do is take it for what it's worth but you never know what God has in store.
I have not seen End of the Spear but have been wanting to for some time now.
It's crazy how God works but it is absolutely beautiful because everything turns out even GREATER than what we expected and more!
Anyways, I understand the need for routine and the stretch of taking yourself out of your usual comfort zone.


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