The (not so) Great Expectations

Yesterday was our 8 year anniversary.  Yeah, Hooray 8 years!, but that isn’t the point of the post so I will spare you sappy reminiscence.  So anyway, we ate at this great little local restaurant filled with hipsters.  We made up a game called ‘What Hipsters Do’, it went something like this… “Hipsters don’t wear socks”, “Hipsters wear car keys clipped to their belt loops with carabiners because their pants are too tight to fit them in their pockets”, “Hipsters have tattoos of vegetables”.  It was a fun game.

The conversation eventually came around to preparations for Nepal, as all conversations do nowadays.

“What would you like to happen these two years in Nepal and what do you think will actually happen?” Dave asked.

“I’d like to assist in the comprehensive, victim centered approach to human trafficking eradication and enhanced government prosecution.” I responded.  “What I actually think is going to happen is that I will be trying to keep our kids from getting snake bites, floundering around with homeschooling, and some slow moving grant writing or obscure research in my spare time. How about you?”

“I’d like to develop relationship with the patients that I treat, begin to see them on an preventative, outpatient basis and assist in community health initiatives” Dave said.  “What I think is actually going to happen is I’m going to trip around learning Nepali, be treating things I’ve never seen and watching a whole lot of people die.”

‘Yep, sounds about right.’ we nodded at each other.

At first I thought, the reality will probably be somewhere between our Great Expectations and our Not So Great Expectation but it occurred to me it will more likely be some of both.  I will be challenged with kid raising and homeschooling but I will also see people freed from slavery and criminal convictions of trafficking.  Dave will struggle with language and disproportionate fatalities but he will also see people healed and connect deeply with patients.  Isn’t that always how God works? He doesn’t just keep us at an even pace, maintaining some where between His full potential for us and our spectacular talent for messing it up.  He gives us highs and lows, both as an opportunity to grow and be stretched, and to get His work done.

The book of Hebrews in the Bible has this whole section in chapter 11 about faith heroes and heroines who in vs. 33,34 “conquered kingdoms, administered justice, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames and escaped the edge of the sword.”  Awesome right? not so fast. Verses 36 and 37 also has these same super spiritual folks, “facing jeers and floggings, chained and put in prison, stoned and put to death by the sword.” Now, I’m totally not placing us in the ranks of Gideon, David, Samuel, Rahab and Moses, but knowing that the kick butt times and the crash and burn times happened to them as well is reassuring.

So for us, we head to Nepal expecting both the Great and the Not So Great.