Sarasota in the middle of July is hot and humid, the sea is warm enough that it barely cools you and the sweat starts dripping after minutes out in the sun. It’s a quiet time at the base. Active and busy for the people who are here, but we're in between DTS’s, a lot of people going home for vacation or to fundraise.
We’re in a season of transformation here in Sarasota. That moment in the middle of a jump before you know where you’ll land. We’re still in that humid air, still waiting for that next step. But I’m happy I get to be here right now. As we’re about to step into a season of prayer and fasting, thinking and listening, I'm happy that I get to be part of something building and growing. It’s in the nature of pioneering, which in a way we're still doing. The first years are putting blocks on top of each other to create something we don’t know what it will look like yet, always being ready to remove anything God tells us to, always being ready to start over again, and again, and again. Always being ready for whatever it is that we’re building to be pushed down into the ground to serve as the foundation for the next step.
It rains almost every afternoon, the heat being to much for the air to carry. And as it falls we think of the lake Jesus sailed over with his disciples. That one where he fell asleep in the boat, and they forgot how he said they would make it to the other side. He asked them where their faith was. Because he had said they would get to that other side. Those are the words we are holding onto now. We have promises. Things that have been spoken directly about this place, a whole book of them for that matter. God still asks us “Where is your faith?” as we forget and remember, but every time we grow a bit stronger in it, remember a bit more. We try it on by smiling as we pray in the mornings, in joy over every gift that we’re given. Here is our faith. Here it is.
I asked God for a bible verse for this blog post, and I opened the bible on one of those pages filled with genealogy. Someone son of someone son of someone. And while those of course have their own meaning and significance, in this context I thought; really? I could almost feel Jesus smiling and asking me to try again. I did open it again, and I do think this is a nicer note to end on:
Isaiah 35:4-7 (NIV)
4 say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
he will come to save you.”
5 Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
6 Then will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
and streams in the desert.
7 The burning sand will become a pool,
the thirsty ground bubbling springs.
In the haunts where jackals once lay,
grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.