“Here I am, where I am supposed to be” – Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen) ‘Out of Africa.’
The continent turns a person into an action junkie. Adventure becomes like a drug. You may go through withdraw but you’re never fully yourself again until you’re back on the rugged, unknown path of freedom. I don’t know anyone who lives this out quite as well as my friend Rebecca. She lives a life certain of uncertainty with no reservations about serving God and other people in whatever capacity, wherever she’s needed, with no restrictions. When Rebecca heard her Lord say “Follow me” she left everything and went, with reckless abandon. She surrendered and didn’t look back, even when the doubts and struggles and questions came. And in that surrender she found the utmost freedom, something one only gets to bask in for a little while when they’re in Africa.
Nightfall had settled over the bustling city of Kumasi as we sat in the back of a weathered, beat-up taxi in standstill traffic. The pot-hole infested “roads” were clogged with worn and tattered vehicles and throngs of people and merchants, weaving in-between. The bassline of an old Toby Keith album resounded throughout the tiny car; three of us sweaty and dirty, squashed together in the back seat. The country music was so out-of-place, it was hilarious and Mark couldn’t stop laughing. We had just finished dinner with two of Rebecca’s American friends, Jamen and Julia.
We talked for hours at night, learning so much about each other and our life stories. There was no Internet to distract us, we only had each other. By candlelight during one of the power outages that happen frequently throughout the country, we sat together waiting for the fans to turn back on and conversing well into the night. It was then that I heard Rebecca’s full story. From growing up in Chicago to a vividly defining dream and a call to Africa, it was by far one of the most incredible stories I had heard, scattered with intricate divine details. That story is still being told and you can keep up with it here.
Natural love expects something in return but supernatural love is willing to be completely destitute, poverty-stricken, selflessly devoted to God, whatever the cost.
“The greatest among you will be your servant” – Matthew 23:11
Being willing to do the things that seem so unimportant in human estimation count as everything to God. The girl who trades climbing the corporate ladder or furthering her education to get that PhD to instead spend her days in the slums of Africa with the least of these are the kings and queens of the Kingdom of Heaven, even though they go unnoticed here in this life.
One who merely proclaims the truth is far different than someone who gets their hands dirty and truly becomes that truth. How freeing it must be to not be under the burden of self as one is daily in America and Western Civilization. Safety and security in life isn’t really living. Abundant life is found only when a person steps out into the unknown.