He and I sit on the couch, his head on my shoulder, our hands clasped intertwined. The Highlands wind yells loud outside, blowing the tall grass outside our window. It sways as if in a dance, shades of green moving to and fro.
I stare through the window slats. The green rolling mountains and pine trees make me think, just for a moment, that I’m back in America. The wind keeps howling, its invisible hands shaking trees and blowing smoke from the village just over yonder.
And I wonder, as we mutter quiet, feeble prayers, if our words get lost out in the highlands too, like the wind through the trees- you can’t catch wind with your hands.
I wonder if our prayers too simply blow away, here for a moment, then gone.
We’d stared into the eyes of the veteran missionaries just last week. We’d asked them if it had been worth it- if their 35 years here in the jungle had been worth it. And with eyes that sparkled and brimmed over, with aged faces and white hair, they had both nodded and said, “Yes.”
She’d cried when she’d told me it hadn’t been easy. And she laughed when she told me how she’d told her husband she wouldn’t live in the village without a real toilet, no sir. How she’d missed her family and raised two children and how the years were full of heartache and joy and wondering just how in the world this preacher’s daughter ended up in the jungles of Papua New Guinea.
And how she’d had moments when she told God she couldn’t do it anymore. And how He’d spoken her name and said, “Yes, you can. I’m with you.”
My mind goes back to last summer when we slept in the village house with the dirt floor. When I was weaker than weak, when I was failing at everything, when I was just surviving most days. He and I, the one whose hand I hold now, had battled and afterward I’d sat in that jungle house and wept. I’d told Him that I couldn’t see, that I had no vision. “I can’t see, Lord, I can’t see.”
Immediately the verse came into my head:
“So whether you turn to the right or to the left
you will hear a voice calling behind you saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it.’”
The words had come so quickly, my eyes must have widened in surprise. God had actually heard me.
In my moment of blindness, when I offered desperate prayers to God, he heard me. And not only had He heard me, He had responded.
He had taken my plea and offered an answer that I would understand.
So now we sit hand in hand. He and I, we keep waiting on God. We keep asking Him for answers, we keep speaking out into the hills. But I know our voices reach further than the wind, they blow right into the ear of God. They don’t stop out in the void, but rest in the heart of Jesus.
And He’ll be faithful to answer.
He comes in tender waves and earthquakes and whispers and thunder. But He always comes. Always.
“I waited patiently for the Lord;
He inclined to me and heard my cry…
[He has] given me an open ear.”
Psalm 40:1, 6b