“Bekki, where does this box go, Tennessee or Africa?”
“Hospital donations, or personal stuff?”
“What about this box?”
“That one goes to Tennessee.”
“Long term storage, or open right away?”
“What color tape?” (Weary sigh from Bekki)
“Yellow, that means long term, right? Or is yellow open right away and pink is long term?” (I can never keep it straight.)
“OK, for the one hundred sixty-second time, yellow is long term, Pink is open right away, orange is for Jonathan’s things, and green is for Lindsay’s” (Insert another weary sigh from Bekki)
And so the weekend has gone. Packing, sifting, packing, organizing, packing, deciding, packing, putting stuff in the trash, packing, taking the same stuff out of the trash, packing…. Yea, you all know what I’m talking about. Moving, oh the joys and oh the agonies. As much as I am dreading the tearful goodbyes and “Last Things” that I wrote about in the previous post, I am really looking forward to June 19 when all the packing is done. When the decisions, for better or for worse, are made. When the last box is put on the U-Haul and the door is closed and we hit the road. I don’t know anyone who likes moving, and I would worry about their mental health if they did.
As I was packing the pictures from my study wall and putting them in a box tagged with yellow tape the thought struck me that I will not see these things for at least 6 years, and it may be more than that. It could be 2025 before I see them again. And much of what is being packed in the yellow tagged boxes are special memories. The oar from our mission trip to Guyana that the missionaries and villagers from Mashabo signed. The peacock plate we received from our villages in India. The stone carvings from Belize we got on our 25th anniversary cruise, and so on. This box is going to be like a time capsule when we open it. Wow! That will be really cool.
But there is another thought that has been with us pretty much constantly the last several weeks. What will we need in Africa? The question has intensified now that we have less than a week before the movers come to take all the Africa stuff to Loma Linda. What do we take, what do we leave? And so every day, and multiple times through the day we pray:
“God, please give us wisdom, You know what we will need. Guide our hands to put just the right things in the right box.”
When I was an earliteen, one of my favorite books was called, “It Came in Handy”. It was the story of a pioneer missionary to the Far East back in the 1920’s. He was a doctor, and went to medical school in the day when you learned to compound your own drugs. Fortunately there were not as many of them. As he worked in the mission field, he found that God had prepared him in any number of ways through experiences he had in his childhood and youth. I think about that story a lot now, and I think about it as I pack. I pray, “God you know if this will come in handy or not, should it go to Africa, Tennessee, or the trash?” And I really believe that God is answering that prayer for us. I am looking forward to seeing how all this stuff we are packing will come in handy.