Thursday, July 5, 2012

Ich bin eine Baustelle

In the middle of our travels through the Midwestern states, we find ourselves this morning in Branson, Missouri looking out across a beautiful college campus while eating our breakfast on a porch. Like most colleges, this one is fixing facades, cleaning out storage rooms and generally updating buildings and grounds during the summer holidays

The German city that we left two and a half weeks ago has also been undergoing some updating. The river that runs through the town of Kandern is being widened to avoid another flood like the one the town experienced over 100 years ago. The Germans plan ahead! The construction project has meant uprooting trees, purchasing portions of private property, widening riverbeds and rerouting water flow. The project has already taken over 18 months and is likely to be "Im Bau" another 9-12 months until completion.

Kandern construction as viewed from our living room window.
As we have re-entered the states and have been able to see friends, family and supporters, God has gently shown me the "Im Bau" signs in my life. Anxiousness and fear seem to characterize my interactions with others, and the overflow of my heart is not peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness or self-control.

Instead, I want to control Isaac's driving: "Turn here;" "You know, you can go through that light." I tend to make quick judgments of people and places: "This isn't how they do it in Germany." Some of these things are natural repercussions of reverse culture shock, but I sense their roots going deeper. There are attitudes to be uprooted and mindsets to be widened. I am reminded of Paul's challenge in Romans 12:2 to "be transformed by the renewing of [my] mind..." 

When friends ask about what we will be doing during this year of furlough, Isaac has graduate school to put on the conversational plate. My plate is empty. But through three weeks of pneumonia and three weeks of traveling, I am hearing a call to be purposely under construction this year. 

Ich bin eine Baustelle. I am a construction site. 

These words were on the bathroom marker board at our dear friends' house last night: 
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but by prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your requests to the Lord. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Phil 4:4-7
Isaac took the picture of Kandern construction so that we might see their amount of progress when we return to our assignment in a year. I pray we are able to see a great amount of God's progress in us during this same year. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing this verse of encouragement. I'll be seeing you in Texas. Blessings to you and your husband!