Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sacrifice

I saw my siblings for the first time in four years this week. We spent three days at an encampment that would accommodate all of us and our families. It was a blast. On the first night out in the country, I did what I always do and went for a walk to see what critters I could see. The unspoken understanding was that my brothers would come along. We always do.

Back when it was just me and my first brother, Jeff, it was the same way. Some of my earliest memories are of the time we tried to catch snakes in Fort Worth setting a trap involving a cardboard box, a porch, gravity and a hope that snakes would go up a set of stairs; or the time we actually did catch some frogs at that same house.

Years later in Colorado, we were so involved playing on the swings down the street from our house that we failed to notice a tornado had gone past our town less than a mile away. In high school we went on a week-long hiking trip in the wilderness of Patagonia together, and had to spend one night in a shelter with a Kiwi couple who left all their food out so rats invaded.

In fact, I have almost no childhood memories that don’t involve Jeff. And even though our paths have diverged somewhat in adulthood, we followed the same career track and worked together regularly. Until four years ago that is. Seeing all my siblings now felt almost as though no time had passed since our last visit. But it has and it will and it is a huge sacrifice. Saying goodbye is so hard that we often fail to do so properly.

The worst part of it all is that I am not particularly good about telling people what or how I feel. And since I am the oldest and was absent from the family pretty early, I imagine they don’t know how much I love and miss them when I am gone. Maybe now they will have an inkling.

3 comments:

  1. Jason! Thanks alot! I've finally made it through a few hours since you guys left without crying at all and now you've made me cry again!;( Really, though, I hope you understand, too, how very much you are loved and missed. Seeing you and Jeff hug goodbye yesterday was one of the most emotional moments I've had in a very long while because I know how much he misses having you in his everyday life. There was a quietness about him the rest of the evening yesterday that told me how much his heart hurt to see you go. Max has told me at least 50 times in the last two days that he "misses ya'll already." It was so great to get to spend time getting to know your kiddos and their sweet personalities..they are such great kids...but gosh it makes me sad to not get to be a presence in their lives as much as I'd love to be. You are right...it is such a sacrifice...and last night I had words with God about it asking Him if He could use someone else's family to reach Germany, but I realized again in that moment just how thankful I am for your faithfulness to be obedient in the midst of great sacrifice. You and Cheryl are amazing examples of what it looks like to live your life abandoning everything for the cause of His kingdom and the gospel. You all are loved more than you'll know!

    Kim

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  2. http://jeffsviewthroughalens.blogspot.com/2010/07/big-brother.html

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  3. Thanks, Kim. However, you need to cease and desist praying that prayer! We absolutely love where we are and what we are doing! I don't know what I would do if I ever had to stop.

    Thanks for the pic, Jeff. I'll treasure that moment.

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