Texas Mission 2016 #5

So, I had to go back and re-read what I wrote yesterday.

I had to do that because in many ways, today was a frustrating day for our team.  And it was frustrating, by and large, because we felt increasingly driven by the need to do and achieve and produce some great deal of work on the little house on Puffin Street in Edinburg, Texas.

IMG_3263

Jon has spent some time this week apprenticing as an electrician. he may have a knack!

All that stuff I wrote yesterday about partnership and being together and allowing God to shape us?  Yeah, well, it turns out that it’s harder to remember some of that when you’re frustrated by using borrowed tools and working to finish a job someone else started and trying to figure out how in the world you are going to finish this job by the time the day is over.  So, one by one, we took a trip to the “bitter barn” today.  The flanges didn’t flange right, and the wire was too stiff, and the plumbing connections were for the other kind of plastic tubing and the paint dried on my brush in the sun and Jon fell into a hole and twisted his ankle (not apparently very seriously, but as he himself reminded us, we shoot horses for less) and the drywall might have fallen from the ceiling and crumbled into 73 pieces when the fellas thought it was up there pretty good…

This picture looks pretty cool, right? Guys working together... 4 minutes later the piece in question had crashed to the floor - a victim of late-day, late-week frustration.  And we all lived.

This picture looks pretty cool, right? Guys working together… 4 minutes later the piece in question had crashed to the floor – a victim of late-day, late-week frustration. And we all lived.

…and yet, as you read this, the world still turns on its axis.  Somewhere, the sun is shining, birds are singing, and a gentle breeze waves across the field.

Here I am painting about half as much as I'd hoped to today...

Here I am painting about half as much as I’d hoped to today…

 

Gabe managed to wrangle some recalcitrant wire into shape to provide service to the home.

Gabe managed to wrangle some recalcitrant wire into shape to provide service to the home.

We didn’t finish.  That was an unrealistic goal.  But this afternoon, we stopped.  And that was fine.  We did what we could with the energy and skill and tools and time that we had, and it’s good.  And when the next team steps up to the plate, it’ll be better.  And it’s fine.

Here's our team, along with Texas Bob, letting go of what we couldn't finish.

Here’s our team, along with Texas Bob, letting go of what we couldn’t finish.

Because after we stopped our work in Texas this year, we did something amazing.  We left Puffin St. in Edinburg and headed west about 45 minutes or so to visit the home on which we worked last year.  And it was amazing.

The little purple house to which we contributed our meager efforts is now a home.  We met our old friend Juani and her children again. We saw how they have taken the structure that was a house and have filled it with character and celebration and joy and hope… And it was simply beautiful to see.

With Juani and her family, celebrating God's gift of home.  We read Psalm 133 and prayed together, and it was good.  Very good.

With Juani and her family, celebrating God’s gift of home. We read Psalm 133 and prayed together, and it was good. Very good.

We didn’t finish that job either.  But it’s done now.  Thanks be to God, it’s done.

This is Vicky.  At her home.  Wearing a shirt that reads "Princess".  Everything about this is beautiful.

This is Vicky. At her home. Wearing a shirt that reads “Princess”. Everything about this is beautiful.

And, thanks be to God, there’s another one on the way.  And – no thanks to us, but to our colleagues in Texas – another and another and another.

Pray with us tonight for families who flee violence and who survive trauma; pray for those who need a home and those who can help to provide it; and take it easy on yourself when you’re feeling all that pressure to do and achieve and produce.  Take some time today to be.  Be thankful. Be hopeful. Be courteous. Be kind.

One thought on “Texas Mission 2016 #5

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