16 October 2017

what faithful looks like

While Matt's been off preaching...

Saturday we played with friends all morning, homeschooled, visited Claudin and his precious family and new baby, visited Steve and Shelley finally in their new home, and got home in time for dinner and bed.

Isn't he gorgeous?  Just another picture for the never-ending hall of His great faithfulness: Claudel!

Today was Lily's fourth grade class' Sunday to worship at Pillatre Christian Church (the church associated with their school) as a class and in uniform, and then we headed straight for the beach with neighbors and friends, this time getting in well after dinner.
Being a single mama the last few days and being well behind on work after retreat last week, I finally tucked some weary, clean, sun-kissed kiddos into bed at 7:30 tonight and knew the hour I still needed to prepare for English One at 8 am tomorrow was NOW.

So I snuck out under the billion stars and up to my office to grab a few books, and on my way was surprised to see the lights in the seminary kitchen blazing.  I snatched what I needed from the office and headed home, surprised to see it was Edlin, hard at work slicing and squeezing a mountain of oranges for tomorrow morning's juice.
Crippled as a child from an illness he only knows to have been a very high fever, nothing is very easy for Edlin.  Walking is slow, painful and jerky, talking is slow and often unclear, and life with a sharp inside but a twisted outside has been a challenge for Edlin.  He is the family caretaker, caring faithfully and lovingly for his blind mama until her death last year, caring still for two young girls, one his own and one his wife's from a previous marriage, both abandoned by her when she left them all not a year after their marriage.

Edlin works incredibly hard in all the lowest ways, sharing foot-washing Jesus through his integrity, constant joy, resistance to complaining, encouragement of others, true humility and continual devotion to our Father.

I popped my head in and asked when he was NOT making juice, and he grinned and asked about my weekend, chatted about his and faithfully kept on filling the kitchen with fragrant citrus.

It is late on a Sunday night, a full, full week ahead for Edlin, and yet he is happily alone in the kitchen, making juice, because when juice is made one orange at a time, and when one orange squeezed to death makes less than an inch of juice, and when 120 people will drink juice at two different meals tomorrow...he IS always making juice.

He has been making juice for 20 years.  Hundreds of thousands of oranges.  Painfully.  Slowly. Truly joyfully.


An hour later I snuck back up and took this picture of faithfulness....and as I watched him everything O. Chambers has ever said about fleshing out our holiness in everyday tasks floods my mind like the kitchen light floods the inky night.
"Drudgery is one of the finest tests to determine the genuineness of our character" he says.  "Drudgery is work that is far removed from anything we would consider ideal work.  It is the utterly hard, tiresome, menial, dirty work.  And when we experience it, our spirituality is instantly tested and we will know whether or not we are spiritually genuine....Look at our God, washing fisherman's feet.

In some cases, the way a person does a task makes the work sanctified and holy forever."

In a world constantly seeking after entertainment, amusement, big, fun, exciting work, front lines work, big glory work, big reward work, the pursuit of ideal living...Edlin is small and quiet and sticky and faithful in the kitchen.

For twenty years, hundreds of men and women have eaten at tables he has wiped 10 thousand times, studying God's Word and going out and be used in amazing places and ways, men and women like visitors and professors and missionary greats from the past and present, men and women like Rujerry and Jean William, like Claudin and Phida, even men and women like Matt and I.

And behind it all is Edlin, drudgery-ing, "not seen as God's perfect, bright-shining examples, but seen as the everyday essence of ordinary life exhibiting the miracle of His grace."

Praise the Lord for Edlin, praise the Lord for his example, praise the Lord for how it challenges me.

As we Monday morning today, pray that this week we might make the work, ALL OF IT, sanctified and holy forever, unto Jesus.
Like Edlin.

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