It was a fall evening – I remember it well. Dinner was thrown together, evening chore lists pointed out, bedtime rituals reminded – kisses to all and we were out the door. Tim and I had been invited to a dinner – for adults only. Normally, I would relish such an opportunity – but this time was different. We’d recently lost a child at 20 weeks into my pregnancy – a little boy – we named him Nathan. This had not been our first brush with loss. I was still in healing mode in need of nurturing myself, but duty called and I felt required to answer.
The dinner? Ministers and wives catered dinner with old friends and new – to talk about the future and enjoy a working mealtime together. The evening felt surreal. I was there in body – but kept wondering why I had not stayed home. Why did I feel compelled to attend?
Soon table talk turned to an ‘icebreaker’ topic as the host posed the question:
“If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?”
I listened to stories of world adventures and dreams of faraway lands as person after person shared their mission stories. The uttermost parts of the earth had been touched by this selfless crowd.
What about me?
The question waffled its way through the circle – weaving the group together in purpose and desire.
What would I say? I’d been to Canada once for a meeting and walked across the border of Mexico for a quick visit. I felt ill-equipped to enter this conversation with such a well-traveled crowd. I had no desire to travel. My world was small. And our home, full of little people who needed me – just one suburb away.
When the ‘hot potato’ of a question was tossed to me, I gave a non-answer – something bland and general because I couldn’t respectfully say what came to mind.
Discretely, I whispered to my husband and he swallowed his chuckle with a wink.
If I could go anywhere in the world – where would I want to go?
Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.” The Message Bible