Last week, we rested with my family in South Carolina. My mom and dad brought together the men and women who have loved me from the day I was born, and they surrounded us with the peace that comes with unconditional love. I soaked in bits of wisdom on the waves of the lake, laughed so hard my sides hurt around the dinner table, got up on skis for the first time on a dare from my daughter, and shared in the joys and struggles of my sisters, aunts, and uncles. I paused for a moment, reveling in the humbling and certain reality that we are surrounded by phenomenal people who love us fiercely.
From there, I headed north to Bristol for the beginning of our Samaritan’s Purse Orientation. As I flew into Tennessee, the news flooded with the story of Dr. Brantly’s fight with Ebola. The risks involved in our journey confronted us on every screen and in every story. Kent Brantly is one of us – literally – a Samaritan’s Purse Post resident who had sat in our seats only 12 months ago.
Our colleague faced the crisis we feared, and we watched Samaritan’s Purse mobilize – seeing first hand the passion and love of the organization that has adopted us . We talked about replacing fear with strength, replacing worry with trust. I called David in tears and we played the “what if?” game. What if the risk became greater? Would we still go? And we rested in the insanity of the answer – Yes.
Sitting in orientation, I listened to the stories of doctors who had come before us. My heart resonated not with the stories of the best days or sunsets or safaris, but in the moments where God’s strength resonated in weakness. Where He met them in the Rwandan genocide or the Kenyan bush or in the clefts of the Sudanese cliffs – the stories when the impossible was solved with the perfect plan, the dilemma was reconciled with improbable schemes, and where provision came in desperate need.
The one thing we know for certain is that we are loved, and that whatever happens, this love is bigger than any illness or danger we could encounter in the world. This love is so amazing that we don’t want to miss a second of it because of fear. So we go, not because it is safe or noble or even known, but because this is next for us and He goes with us.