Tuesday, November 27, 2012


The milk comes in boxes and sits on a shelf until opened.

The view of the sky is cluttered with concrete.

The language is clucks and tsks, a bubble of noise all around.

And I miss America.

I miss home.

I miss my husband, my comfy chair, my coffee pot, my gardens, my wide windows that look out on green, my car, my English, my life.

There are no substitutes here for God, here in this strange and foreign place, a city of millions where I know the hearts of four.   There is nothing to run to when I feel lonely or afraid, no hobby or possession that will turn my head from what is simmering in my heart.

All the props are gone.

This bareness?

It is good.

For I pray earnestly to wake up at 7 and sleeping in is not an option when you've got an empty jar for a heart and only one Well to fill it.   I fall asleep with whispered murmurs, "By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me," and the small red Bible sleeps with me most nights in a bed too big for one, and the words within are gold, real gold, more precious than anything else I stuffed in that black canvas suitcase and brought across the ocean.

When have I last been this hungry?

My sister, she says it when we are huddled over coffee in the bustling downtown.  "Grace is the backbone of every woman left standing."  They are Ann's words, and now they are her words, her rally cry for this life that is a new kind of different and hard every morning.  A year in, and she stands with grace as the backbone and leg bone and every bone.

I can see the x-ray skeleton here.  I can see the grace so clearly, stark white against a black screen.  "There it is," and I trace the mercy all the way down this skin.  I'm standing because of grace.

Do I understand this at home?  I fill up with a thousand things that taste better than the Giver of grace, and I think they sustain. What have I been eating all those days?  Fake food, play food, empty calories, stuffing myself on everything but.  When all but the Giver is gone and I am still walking, still alive, to whom or what else can the credit go?

There He stands, the Bread of Life, and I know.  He is more than enough to fill a belly, strong enough to hold these bones up straight.


  1. Lara,
    Shawn's mom gave me the link for your blog and I've been reading it. I love it! Thanks for your godly wisdom and insight for all to see. This post, in particular, has spoken to me today and I'm grateful that your shared! Glad you had a good visit with your sister and family!

  2. By the way, this Melissa Willis, Shawn's wife! :)

  3. Thanks for your encouragement, Melissa! So good to hear from you.