Steven Curtis Chapman is one of my favorite musicians and his haunting classic, “When Love Takes You In,” one of my very favorite songs.
I think of that title and those lyrics often when I reflect on the changes in lives that take place after a season of mission trips. Consider these thoughts on how some of those lyrics have woven their way into the experience of just a few of our volunteers this year:
When love takes you in, everything changes
Our culture is in love with the romantic notion of falling in love. But the expression, “when love takes you in,” seems to have something more tangible, more foundational, and certainly more intentional about it.
Even still, I still sense something inexplicable and mysterious about a love that takes you in. It is more than an invitation. There is an allure about it…as if you are standing outside, shivering in the cold, dark night when a stranger with a kind face opens their door to you. At that moment, words are unnecessary. Intuitively, you know you have been offered sanctuary and the light from the stranger’s eyes are like an arm wrapping around your shoulders, gently drawing you into a warm and comfortable room. And just before the door closes behind you, you catch a glimpse of a shadow now moving away…someone unknown to you, yet somehow familiar. And in your heart you are aware that he is smiling…that he has somehow guided you to this accepting place and orchestrated this unexpected salvation.
And like the rain that falls into the sea, In a moment what has been is lost in what will be
I see the truth and beauty of the verse being played out in the life of Lynn Hendrich who just returned from her first mission trip to Moldova. God leads her into the life of Maria, an unassuming blind girl among a sea of orphans. A bond as strong as steel forms and the wheels are set in motion for her to have the surgery she needs to regain her sight. And in the process, Lynn, in a very real and different way, also gains her sight…a new way of seeing…seeing with and through the eyes of God.
When love takes you home and says you belong here – Loneliness ends and a new life begins
There is a young girl from the orphanage we work with in Falesti, Moldova named Elena. “Lena” has a form of muscular dystrophy that has become progressively incapacitating. Alva Duke, a long-time Moldova volunteer, and her daughter Ryan, have sponsored Lena for years. Next Monday, Lena will arrive in Nashville to be assessed and treated by American doctors. She will live with Alva and her husband Mark while in the States. And those of you who are fortunate enough to attend Rolling Hills Community Church will get to meet an angel.
And His love will never let you go
Do you know that kind of love in your life? Have you ever longed for the love that takes you in? If not, please write me – firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ve seen His shadow a thousand times over and I’d love to put you in touch with the mysterious Stranger with the smiling face!