Saturday, April 11, 2015

Good Friday

Everyone knows that moving to a new place has its difficulties.  Newness is exciting, but new things are also hard.  It applies to so many areas of life:  new jobs, new relationships, new babies, new houses, new cities, new countries.  In our situation moving to a new country is a big bubble that encompasses all of those new things and more.  And it's all exciting, but it can also be exhausting mentally and emotionally.  You find that you need things that make you feel relaxed, make you feel at home in the midst of a sea of change.

When I moved 5 1/2 hours from home to go to college this was watching The Andy Griffith Show in my dorm.  It was always on in the background of our house growing up, and on the rare occasion I put the video tape into my combination TV/VHS player it made me feel like all was right with the world.  Of course these days I've traded streaming familiar shows through Netflix for the VHS tapes of yore.

KJ and I have also found it really relaxing and restorative to do things that we really love doing in England.  Mainly, just going somewhere beautiful and walking around, and the wonderful thing about Yorkshire is, you never have to go far to see something new (because everything is new to us!) or see something beautiful.  I've been reminded in the past week how much a 30 minute walk by myself gives me a better outlook on life.

Hello, sheep. 

Last Friday we were at a little birthday party a couple of miles from our house.  It had been drizzling (maybe even mizzling!) all day, and it was cloudy and gray, but I had KJ leave me at the gate of a public footpath after the party.  He drove the kids home, and I finally got to see some lambs I had noticed earlier.  It was also my first time on this particular footpath, and I realized as I walked how happy it made me to be here.

Just look at those little guys!

That one makes me laugh.  Skip, skip, little lamb!

Those mamas would not stop baa-ing at me and calling their little ones close.  Who is this intruder, they cried.

There is so much imagery involving lambs and sheep in the Bible, but what was going through my head on this Friday before Easter was something a friend said as we were talking about people eating lamb on Easter Sunday.  "They're born to die."  And I thought of Jesus, who was born to die, to save His people from their sins.  "He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, and yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth" (Isaiah 53:7). 

On this day I learned that even walking in the rain through fields so slick with mud I nearly fell down in it can be good for my soul.  And really, the rain and mud helped make it more so because those things are a big part of living in England.

But as helpful as Netflix and walks through muddy fields are, I find one thing the most helpful of all when all the change feels hard.  I'm reminded that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever, that the God I've been believing for so many years is the same in the midst of my expanding world.  And I've thought many times about when Lucy meets Aslan in the wood in Prince Caspian.

"Aslan," said Lucy, "you're bigger."
"That is because you are older, little one," answered he.
"Not because you are?"
"I am not.  But every year you grow, you will find me bigger."

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