Sunday, January 03, 2016

New Year, Old Friends

Aogu's oldest--longest?--friend, nicknamed "Yatchan," has been in Saitama on a work assignment since October. It's a big deal for him. He's from the countryside beyond Kumamoto, where he's stayed since he and Aogu were in church and elementary school together as small boys. He has a family, three kids just a bit older than ours, but he never imagined himself working in the big city. 
God has brought him here now, and we've been fortunate to spend time with him on a few different Sundays when he's been able to visit church. Today we were privileged to visit with him and his whole family, who flew up for a short visit to Tokyo. 
Honestly, I had a different agenda for today. But this morning, I felt compelled to change my plan and head off to church instead. Thankfully! 
My brother-in-law Ken had prepared some verses in envelopes to be "otoshidama" (usually money that is handed to children at New Year's. It was interesting to hear each person read his or her verse. One woman who is often tearful in worship got a verse that said something like, "Don't cry anymore, dry your tears!". 
I got this verse: 
“This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength...."
Isaiah 30:15 NIV

The timing of this seems not coincidental. I've known I need more adult conversation, and that need continues. But I also recognize, perhaps for the first time? that I also need quietness and rest. 
I will need so much help and wisdom from God to know how to engage it, but this feels like a call to get started. 

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