Baptism of Grace {tales of a hometown missionary}

I was tired. Burned right out. The mountains had moved and my skin was feeling the itch of dirt and I just wanted a nice long hot bath.

But I couldn’t escape. I lived right there in the middle of my mission. Every day they came, knocked at my door. These unruly children who left dirt and grime smeared through the house. Who begged for attention and attention and attention.

I worked all morning, came home and worked all evening.

The two year old hung on my arm but wouldn’t obey a simple command. My heart nearly stopped several times an evening as she darted in and out of the street. I finally caught her tight and whispered as calmly as possible, “If you don’t obey the street rules, you won’t be able to visit.” She ran screaming to her mom. I sighed and raised eyes heavenward.

Then there was the evening my brother came to visit. I stood by his vehicle and said my last goodbyes. He put the car in gear and began to move backward. To this day I do not know what triggered my reaction, but I panicked and banged my fist onto the hood of his car. It left a dent and bruised my hand but he stopped in surprise and we scooped the little girl up, unharmed from her spot behind the back tire.

God, I’m tired. 

I sat and rocked back and forth as Becky and Helen told me unspeakable things. I caught them in the middle of so many lies, I didn’t know what to believe anymore. I watched social workers come and go from their house and prayed they were asking the right questions and moving to protect the girls. But I accepted that I could do little.

My heart was tired. 

The lawn was neglected. My lack of time was catching up. The mower sat in the tool shed, almost forgotten. One day I decided that enough was enough. I would mow the lawn, no matter how many children came. I would take some time for myself.

I slipped out the back door and pulled the mower from the shed. I left the front yard and went to the back were the grass brushed my calves. The mower roared to life when I pull started it. I reveled in the white noise. It was almost quiet. Two rounds and I looked up to see Becky and Cara. They were holding a paper and jumping up and down to catch my eye.

No, God. This is my time, remember? My recharge time? 

I pushed the mower, closing the gap between us. “Sorry, girls,” I said, huffing slightly, “it’ll have to wait until after I’m done. I need to get this lawn mowed.”

Their faces fell. Then Cara worked up a smile that didn’t quite meet her chocolate eyes, “We’ll wait at the house,” she said, a bit of hope still coloring her words.

“Okay,” I answered, feeling a prickling of conscious. I shrugged it off. I needed some time. They could wait for twenty minutes. They trudged up the hill and I shook my head in frustration.

I just need a little break, God. They’ll be around when I’m done. I don’t need to feel guilty for taking time to mow my lawn! It’s not like I’m doing anything extravagant. I’m not spending money or running away from the things you’ve given me. I’m. just. taking. a. few. minutes. 

It was a great argument. Nothing morally wrong with it.  I was being wise, thinking about my abilities and my needs so I could continue to serve. I was… well, I was making “good” decisions without checking with my heavenly Father who knew, better than I, what was needed. 

 Two steps later the mower ran out of gas. The one I carefully checked each time I mowed the lawn, to make sure there was plenty for the next time. Apparently, I forgot once.

I stood there in the quiet, the girls voices drifting down from the porch, and couldn’t help but laugh a little. “Okay, God,” I whispered, “I’ll go talk to the girls.”

I walked up the hill and they squealed in delight. They made me sit on the porch, my feet propped up. “We have a song for you, Tasha, a song!” Then they stood in formation and with motions and a chanting song-like quality to their voices they spouted off the words to “God is Everything”.

The lyrics were ridiculous. The message left my knees weak with awe.

“We wrote it, Tasha,” they told me when they finished, “we wrote it for you. You told us that God is everything. And you love music. So we wrote it for you.”

“It’s wonderful,” I whispered, my voice hushed in the beauty of it.

Before I could grasp everything, before I could return to normal breathing, they hugged me and said goodbye. “We have to go,” they explained, “we only had a few minutes because we’re going to the fair this evening.”

And they left.

And I stood from my spot on the porch, took two steps inside and fell on my knees.

God, you knew. You knew the thing that would revive me. You knew the best way to bathe me in grace. Forgive me, Father, for thinking that I knew so well what I needed. Forgive me for not trusting that you would redeem my energy and fill me with your strength. 

As it turned out, the evening was quiet. Everyone on the street went to the fair and I sat in my living room with worship music playing and enjoyed quiet moments of peace.

Turns out God does a better job at reviving than I do. Turns out that He delights in baptizing me, again, with His grace.

Part One: {In Jars of Clay}
Part Two: {Wind and Waves}
Part Three: {Miracles and Mustard Seeds}
Part Four: {Labels and Trust}
Part Five: {To Flourish}
Part Six: {Seeing True}
Part Seven: {Songs to Believe In}
Part Eight: {Apple Pie and Eye Shadow}



9 thoughts on “Baptism of Grace {tales of a hometown missionary}

  1. Pingback: In Jars of Clay {tales of a hometown missionary} |

  2. “Turns out God does a better job at reviving than I do.” The truth of those words ring long and loud. His grace, His timing. Not ours–when will we ever learn that? Thank you for allowing Him to work through you to revive me today!


  3. Thanks! it’s a truthful, beautiful post!
    Grace has so surprised me i have started a Grace Look-out ; a hunt to keep up with Grace that covers, follows, showers, holds…blessings!


  4. Pingback: Broken Stories {tales of a hometown missionary} | Natasha Metzler

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