Well, we’ve been back in Tanzania for a month and a half now. Like anyone, at any place, at any time, there are good things, hard things, frustrating things and sad things. Coming back has been a mixture of all of the above. We’ve seen God take our Swahili and, only by His grace, make it better than when we left. We’ve reunited with friends and neighbors and that time has been filled with joy. We’ve entered back into the challenges of using public transportation, now as a family of 6. We have felt the forgotten feeling of pure exhaustion of the everyday tasks that just seem harder here. And I have felt the pangs of sadness of losing my brother that never really seem to leave.
Coming back to the place where I learned of his tragic death has been very hard for me. The memories flood back and my heart breaks all over again. Also, knowing next month marks one year already comes with sadness, too.
This morning as I was exercising I listened to a playlist I made with songs that make me think of my brother. Songs that really spoke me to after his death. Thankfully I didn’t see many people while I walked, otherwise they would have wondered what was wrong with me. As I sobbed, I thought of heaven and the hope that we have as believers. The pain in my heart made me long for heaven all the more. But then faces began to flash before me. Faces of friends, neighbors and even family who are not yet ready for heaven. I was reminded that I cannot give up.
I think of Logan in the presence of God, whole and restored, I am filled with a bittersweet joy. And I am confident that he would tell me to keep pressing forward in making Jesus known. I must press forward through the sorrow and the pain. There is the hope of heaven and it will be better than I could ever imagine, BUT there are still so many I want to go with me.
A few weeks ago my mom sent me a beautiful poem that Logan had written years ago and it has deeply touched me heart. Here is a snippet that has especially encouraged me:
Yet among the entourage of calamity
One shining hope beacons to all humanity
The love of the Lord above all disgrace
The love our God that is so great to embrace
So no matter the troubles or woes of life
Things like poverty must be seen as mere mortal strife
Our eternal blessings hold so much more worth
A value that overcomes all material dearth
Help one another to your very best extent
For no giving time is ever overspent
I am thankful that even in his death, Logan is still speaking to me through words that he penned years back. Thank you Jesus for a glimpse into his heart from when he was still well. Thank you for the encouragement to keep my eyes on the plow, as there is still work to be done.
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”