One Sunday, I stand facing the congregation with my friend and fellow missionary as the pastor prays over us and commissions us to go toHaiti. It’s Trinity Sunday and it’s Father’s Day and the scripture reading is Matthew 28:16-20 where Jesus says to his disciples, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
It’s that last line that always gets me, always has, because I’ve felt the trueness of it since I was a small girl. But our pastor pulls out a line above the quote, from verse 17: "... but some doubted." Can you believe it? Pastor asked. They had seen all his miracles, walked with him for at least three years and now, the resurrection. Can you believe that some of them doubted? Standing there, facing all those faces that I love, I believed it. Standing there waiting for a blessing, I am a little girl again, putting my trust in something—in Someone—who, thank God, I don’t understand. There are so many questions and so much doubt and I want to grab my friend’s hand as we stand there together. This will be her third trip to Haiti and she has been patient with me, and kind, as I ask all kinds of crazy questions and text her during odd hours of the day.
Instead, I stand quiet and still, an island, and let the prayers penetrate my stony heart; let them sink deep into all the questions, all the fears, all the doubt. We’ll do this again for the second service in another hour and I think how I want to bottle up these prayers and take them with me across the ocean.
In between the services, I call my dad. I find a quiet spot in the back hall and dial the number that I grew up reciting as my own. He’s getting ready to mow the grass and he’s glad to hear from me and we make small talk about family stuff for ten minutes. I don’t tell him about Haiti. Some distances still feel too big, too tender to bridge.
I think about that last line of the scripture, “And surely I am with you always.” I think about that line, and I close my eyes as I hang up the phone. And everything is just fine.
My daddy’s got me.
Every Monday I’ll be sharing one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find Him. Be with Him. Grab my button at the bottom of the page and join us:
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