The last few weeks have been full of surreal moments. One after another that have left me a bit in awe of this time and place that I find myself in.
One was backstage on a weekend of a big event. I was holding a puppet and waiting for our puppet team to gather and perform. They were to all come as the special music was played. The auditorium was so full that I didn’t have a seat, so I was there before everyone else. And I began to realize that the song playing was one I had sung 34 years ago in a little Pentecostal church as a teenager. People Need the Lord by Steve Green. I was so moved by that song then, that I couldn’t finish it, I was weeping. The call to missions was so strong. How surreal to be 34 years later, with a puppet, living out that calling and hearing that song, reminding me of “the call”.
To Jordan, my husband and I slip away for a day of much needed R and R. We sit in a hot spring that is 65 degrees Celsius all year round. The next day we go to a place where we can gaze into Syrian, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan all at the same time. We are also gazing at the Sea of Galilee. This is where Peter walked on water. Also, where the pigs went falling off the mountain into the water, from the demons. Surreal stories, surreal to be there.
Fast forward a week later and I am driving a car around in a Middle Eastern country that I don’t live in. Maybe it is ordinary for you to think about driving in a foreign country, but to me it felt surreal. I mean it is one thing to drive in Lebanon, I live there. But one I am just visiting? I thought, who am I, to be driving around in this country? Surreal. At one point I ended up in the heart of the local people area and I felt very foreign (even inside my car). I felt vulnerable and small. Yet there I was. Surreal.
That same day, I needed to go to the mall to do some major purchasing for an event that Darron and I were hosting. I decided to take an hour and just shop for myself. I was in a department store with modern clothing that Western people would wear. I couldn’t help but notice there were many women in full black Burka’s, even some with only slits for their eyes. Curiously, we were reaching and looking at the same garments. Surreal. It made me ponder what their lives and clothing is like behind closed doors? I was intrigued that we had the same “popular” tastes.
After the event, I needed to fly onto Romania for a work project. Imagine my surprise when the tickets handed to me were first class. Not only that but passes to all the lounges along the way. Oh my, the food and spaces were surreal. I sat in the Istanbul lounge looking down on all the economic passengers wearily wandering around (usually me). What a hug from God to have this treat after 3 intense days of giving to other people. My scale is now reminding me to have a little more self control in surprise surreal eating moments. Woops!
I’m guessing that many Bible women felt surreal moments. Widow Ruth in a foreign land, gleaning and the owner of the field filling her shawl with kilos of grain. Orphan girl Esther, selected as the favored one to become Queen. Mary visited by an angel and told she will bare God’s Son. Mary Magdalene compelled to pour a costly ointment on Jesus’s feet. Undoubtedly, all surreal moments.
Does life become more surreal, the more we live outside of our comfort zone? When we follow Christ does that put us in unexpected surreal moments? I don’t have answers to all my ponderings, but this I do know…it has been a privilege to be on this journey and experience all these stretching moments. Moments that leave me feeling somewhat unsettled, growing and longing for heaven that will be even more surreal than all these experiences combined. Yet, at the same time, I imagine, it will feel the sweetest peace to ever be experienced.
As you press into the New Year, and gaze back at the past, may you hold in wonder the most surreal truth of all. That we are loved by the King of the universe! Courage (from Him) as we face tomorrow to be where your feet are.