This week we got to look at a big empty place.
You know the one. In fact, you’ve probably looked at that same space in the last several weeks… just like us. Curious?
Last weekend, while I was away, Liz & the kids took down the Christmas tree and packed everything away for another year. Now, when we’re sitting in the living room, there’s much more room than there has been for the previous month or so.
Do you get that impression when you remove the tree?
When you put it up, the space feels closed in and homey… and you get used to it. Then when it’s gone again…. “Whole new room!”
Light at the Farm
Last weekend was a farm weekend for me but there were fewer animals this time ’round. Gaya (the second great dane)passed away since my last visit as had Treasure, the huge Poitou Donkey.
One thing that was very cool…
Remember the cards I’d done up with this lamp on them? It quotes John 8.12 “Jesus, light of the world” in French.
I’d given one to the owners with a small Christmas gift and not only were they moved, but that card is now prominently on display in their guest house. See it? (Bottom right corner)
“Lord, touch that family… and their guests!”
25km from a World Trade Center
That’s right, we’re located less than 30km from a World Trade Center, and that’s where Dominic got to do his week-long work-term.
There are over 300 WTCs around the world (this + 11 others in France) spread throughout 91 countries.
Dominic spent his week observing, doing light office support work and sitting in on meetings. The goal is similar to “Take your child to work” days back home (to familiarize highschoolers with the working world) but it lasts for a week.
I’m not sure he’s feeling a call to office work… but it’s been a neat opportunity, he was very well received and left a highly positive impression.
France in the News for… Nutella
So did you read about France in the news this week?
Liz saw there was a special on Nutella at a local supermarket this week… 70% off (from $5.60 USD down to $1.75). So after dropping Timo off at school she ran another errand, went to the store and arrived 5 minutes after it opened.
The Nutella was already sold out… 5 minutes!!
We laughed(admittedly a bit scornfully)at the lunacy of the situation and lack of control – where some were going out with 5, 6 or 7 bottles in their basket (Liz didn’t get any) – but we didn’t imagine the full scale of it… until we saw that it made North American News!!
Oh the things that make the news! 🙂
Big Empty Spaces
I happened to snap that photo of the basketball court from my classroom at the business school where I teach a few hours of English each week.
The student kept pacing back and forth, clearly holding a paper in his hand, making hand gestures for emphasis. I think it’s safe to assume he was rehearsing a presentation of some kind: Off to the side, by himself, getting ready for the big event.
Have you ever felt that way?
- no cover in sight; maybe you feel a little exposed.
- no one near enough to run to for help.
- & you feel like you’re just in prolonged rehearsals, wondering if the main event will ever come and what it will look like when it does.
We’ve felt like that. We have. And I dare say that anyone working in missions will tell you that at some point they’ve been there.
Who am I trying to kid… you don’t have to be in missions to feel that way – I remember feeling that way at times when still living in Canada too.
Regardless of our geography, is it always easy do deal with things? No.
- But Everytime we’re tempted to say “God, I can’t do this”, I hear a still small voice whispering Philippians 4.13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.
- When we’re tempted to say “God, I don’t have it in me”, 2 Corinthians 12.9 comes to my memory: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
It’s then that I realize that the Big Empty Places may indeed seem big… but they’re never as empty as they seem. Certainly, we’re not as alone as the devil would have us feel.
The surroundings may seem dark… but the warming light of Jesus’ presence is just as close as the mention of his name. For as my card says…
Jesus, light of the world!
If you know someone who would be encouraged by the light of His presence… why not hop over to Etsy & pick up a card.
God bless you this week & thank you for stopping by
and be encouraged as you walk into big empty spaces!