I hope this finds you well, I think the contents of this letter is something you should hear. To be honest, I am writing to myself as well. To be really honest, this could be some ploy to gain what I have not, maybe I am clambering to hear these things myself. I am really unsure. In anyway, I digress to you. You who has been fighting for something bigger than yourself for some time now. If you are new to the missions field or if you who we look up to, this is for you. To those who haven’t realized yet that this life is not all that its painted to be by my photos posted, but it also has a cost, this is for you. To you who have lived this life for years now and still haven’t heard what you wish you would, this is yours.
First and foremost, thank you. Thank you for saying yes. Thank you for going to the scary places. Thank you for going places that your mother and father told you never to go. Thank you for going to these places and bringing light there. Thank you for caring for the uncared for, and for loving the unlovable. Thank you. Thank you for doing what others minimize, and others idolize. Thank you for laying down your rights for God and the ones who haven’t found something to eat yet. Thank you.
Next I want to say that I am sorry. I am sorry you have to leave your loved ones to do so. I am sorry that you have to say goodbye to practically everyone you have ever met and cared for. I am sorry that you have to look in the eyes of those who might actually love you as much as you love them when they are full of tears. Im sorry that when they ask “When are you coming home” and you aren’t sure what home really is anymore. That the closest thing to real relationship resides in a metal box with a screen, and you have to use headphones to hear them because you don’t want to wake other people at ungodly hours. I am sorry that you feel forgotten, and in some ways, you are. I am sorry that every Instagram photo that comes on your feed, every Facebook post of a setting you belong in, every memory shared by your friends reminds you how you are here and they are there. That you find it hard to relate with some of your oldest friends because you have lived two different lives for quite some time now. I am sorry when people do not see this sacrifice and take you for a person who is running from something, or a world traveler. I am sorry that not everyone appreciates this sacrifice for what it is. I am sorry that your life is more full of hello’s, I love you’s, and goodbyes than any other life I can think of right now. It would be easier if it was the first and the last but the I love you’s make the last a dagger ever time. I am sorry that your heart sometimes always feels like it is in recovery. That some days, you feel like you’re the one who needs the missionary. That some days you feel so fragile because of the hurt you’ve endured that if you were to watch any film with any somber emotion you would just lose it, like me. Stay away Disney.
All of this being said, I have a few more words. You see if you’re like me, you don’t choose this life all on your own. You did not wake up one day saying “Hey I want to deny full relationship with the people I am closest with to go sleep on cold floors, eat bland food, and be in somewhat of a constant danger for the kicks of it” No. If you are anything like me, you were called. The God of Love called you out. He entrusted you with a different purpose. He entrusted you to days of sorrow and homesickness. He entrusted you to days of day dreaming about the California coast, burritos, the redwoods, and root beer. He entrusted you to tears of loneliness. He entrusted you to feeling unknown again and again and again. He entrusted you to withstand great emotional pain. He trusts you to live this life. He has given you a passion that allows you to look at all of the mess of this thing you call your heart and still press on with joy. This passion, oh this passion, it burns in you like a flame on good hearty logs.It burns hotter than hell itself and it should never be tamed or neatly packaged. Passion is messy, untrimmed, wild, strong, real, authentic, and ever-present. It tells you that all of this hurt is worth something. That you chose this because God asked you to, so you know there is a reason for it. You have the drive to change the culture, to change the people, to do something worth something, your passion is your anchor and reminder.
Alejandro Rodriguez says “Passion turns suffering into privilege.” He uses Jesus as our prime example. Jesus went through the suffering we owed him because of his passion for us. His passion was seeing man restored in relationship to his father, his passion was reconciliation. Jesus saw his suffering set before him as a privilege to endure, he was the one to save the world. In a similar way, your passion for people turns all of the lack of thanks, pain, relational strain, loneliness, and lack of comfort a privilege. Consider it as that I beg of you, if you do not, you will not last out here. You will fizzle away like those around you. That is not for you, you are called, you are appointed, you are wanted out here, God trusts you. He is counting on you to stick with your passion and convictions. To fight hard here until he tells you to fight hard somewhere else. You are mighty, you are important, you are a world changer. You are a hard nosed son of a gun who lays down their rights every day just to see change in this world. You are a missionary, no better than any other human, but a missionary nonetheless.
With Best Regards and Adoration
PS Treat yourself to the things you love, living on support doesn’t mean living in captivity. Jesus loves you and wants to give you sweet gifts.