There’s an inside joke I have with Jesus, usually said before I’d go into some of the worst places we could find, one of us would whisper to the other “I jump you jump jack”
It’s our way of saying “we’re in this together”.
Running into huts in war zones or staying in $1 hourly rate hotels in brothels, it was this beautiful reassurance that if I was on his lap, and stayed glued to his side—we were good.
But now here I am in the west. Over the last couple weeks Edison, my gorgeous fiancé and I have bought a car, leased a flat and I got my long awaited and coveted visa that will allow me to stay in the states past the usual 6 month mark.
On the outside, a serious shift from my normal routine of dodging bullets. And honestly, sometime’s I look around and have a small panic attack that my life is going to get “boring”. Where are the plane tickets? The stamps in my passport? The men with AK47’s screaming at me in languages I don’t understand?! (Any other gypsy’s hear me? lol)
But then one day after signing the papers for our beautiful new shoebox flat, (it’s super cute and tiny so I call it the “shoebox”) I heard papa whisper the small phrase: “I jump you jump jack”
Excuse me? I just signed a one year lease in AMERICA. There’s no war around here!!
But he started to speak to me about lifestyle. AGAIN about how being radical isn’t found in your “stress levels” or how far one has jumped off “the cliff” but radical is found in the every day extravagance of loving well.
For putting my marriage before ministry.
For not getting frustrated when people ask me where my accent’s from. Again.
And for choosing to say yes to him, no matter where that takes me. Whether a refugee camp in the Middle East or my cute shoebox flat in downtown LA.
Radical is having the character to take yourself wherever you go.
If you only do missions overseas but are neglecting the poor in the current place you are living, there is a disconnect. A gap that needs to be bridged.
It’s the little things. A soup kitchen, a mentoring program, loving someone around you to point where it costs you something.
So for me not much has changed and Edison and I just officially signed papers and will move into our flat on the edge of skid row after we’re married.
(Skid row, for those who don’t know, is an area of downtown LA and has one of the most dense populations of homeless people in America. It’s been around since the 1930’s and is literally just down the corner, with working girls and drug addicts within walking distance from our living room.)
To this my heart comes alive.
For me, my passion while I’m stateside (for this short though undated season) is to see a fire lit under those with a heart to change the world but aren’t called to full time overseas living. Or at least not right now.
There is so much you can do, and as I blog, I want you to share your stories with me also! How you got uncomfortable and found Jesus on your local park bench or down the sketchy back streets of your hometown. And I’ll post some of your stories to hopefully inspire others. YOUR life of pursuing normal.
Our flat is a complete and total God thing and everything we asked for. As was my visa. After receiving it you must wait 30 days before you can legally marry an American and I had it in my hand at 32 days before we were hoping to say “I do”. (!!)
Now, that doesn’t mean you need to move to Skid Row! But finding ways to love the poor around you and get your hands dirty. To this I want to normalize and help bridge that gap.
Honestly, I still sometimes deep sigh that it’s not a war zone. But as I started to conduct interviews with those possibly moving to LA for our “War Zones Structuring team” (We still don’t really have a name for it) I get excited for what papa holds for us this season!
Normal is what you make it. Let’s just not make it boring.
So cheers to those who want to lay their lives down and be crazy, sold out and see history shift! Whether in a war zone or in suburbia, let’s get uncomfortable.