Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The fifth letter

Hi Naomi,

You've said that a lot now, "it's the same now that I'm back here in Australia"; about serving God, about using our resources, and now about God changing us.

It's funny. Part of me wants to scream, “No! Nothing’s the same!” Being back in Australia is so different. It's so disconcerting. There are different ways of relating to people, different social norms and rules that I have to learn all over again. We stay too long at people’s houses. We park in no-parking zones. We flag taxis by raising our eyebrows (actually, we don’t, but we try to). From when I get out of bed, to when I return to it at night, it's different. Nothing's the same; like your little bow at the supermarket, like feeling dizzy before the KFC menu board, like trying to make a call at the public phone booth for only 40c (I mean, who doesn’t even have a mobile??).

At another level I can't but agree. I like to say that what I am doing now is no different to what I would be doing wherever we lived. I try to love and serve my God, my husband and my children. I seek to love and serve the people around me that God has given me to love and to be loved by. These things are the same. But they look so different in different places. I wonder if, now that life in Australia is a hazy dream for me, you could explain a little more what you mean. How have you worked out how you use your resources ... how do you make sure you honour him rather than yourself (there must be real temptations here in a writing and speaking ministry) … what do you do to make sure you grow day by day ... back there in Australia. I know what things looked like for you in Nepal. What do they look like now that you are back there in ordinary, everyday, Australia?

And, I wonder how have your children adjusted to being back in Australia? This is one of my biggest concerns, especially the longer we stay and the older they get. Some of best friends are children of missionaries. Some made the transition well and quickly and others didn’t. How have yours coped?

With love,

P.S. I love eating cheese, too, at home, but I can’t come at wearing shorts!

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