There is a metaphor people use to describe the difference between men and women…
That is probably a dangerous way to start this thing. I hope you aren’t “triggered” but even if you are, stick with me and I promise we can sort this out. Men and women are different. Equal, but different. I’ve heard that so-called experts say men are like waffles and women are like pancakes.
The idea is that most of the time men compartmentalize things. We section off events, tasks, or difficulties like the little squares of a waffle and nothing in one square affects the other squares. On the other end of the spectrum, pancakes have no compartments and typically everything going on in life affects everything else. Now, I can’t speak to each of you reading this but I can speak to Hannah and I. I am most definitely a waffle and she is a pancake all day, every day, and twice a day during big changes or events. You’re laughing right, because you know all that is going on in our lives and that we are moving our family to another country.
Hannah’s pancake is floating in syrup right now, like a vat of it. I, on the other hand, have just dealt with one thing at a time. Two weeks before we left for Belgium I helped plan and execute an all-night event for the exercise group I was part of, F3. That’s all I did and thought about. We had a yard sale a week later that I didn’t even think about until that event was over, then it was full steam ahead for the yard sale. Three days after the yard sale we were leaving to go to training in Belgium. I didn’t pack a shirt or pair of socks until the Monday after the yard sale. I was taught growing up not to do things half-way (although different verbiage was used) and so I take one big thing at a time and compartmentalize the rest in an effort to give that one thing 100% of my attention and effort.
I am a waffle.
I keep the syrup where it goes until it’s time to take that bite. About halfway through training in Belgium, one of my biggest sectioned off compartments began to break and spill out. It was one that I was not looking forward to, it was going to be the very last big one to deal with before we left because it would be the hardest. My syrup began to run over during our morning worship time and it took a minute to figure out what was going on.
We were singing the song, “Is He Worthy.” It has become one of my favorite songs. Go ahead, stop and ask Alexa to play it for you. It’s powerful and stirs something in my soul. It’s one of my favorite songs we sing at our church, First Presbyterian Church Macon. The whole church worshiping and singing it together is so powerful. So, our small little group is singing this song in our little meeting room and I started crying, and I had to stop singing and try and process why. Here’s what I came up with…
We won’t have a “church” to call home and worship in for a little while once we move. By that I mean a physical church and a place to gather and worship and rest. In that moment singing that song, my soul was sorrowful for the loss that was forthcoming. I had been putting the “we are leaving everyone, everything, and everywhere we love” compartment way in the back of the line of things to deal with, and in that moment the dam broke.
There’s no way to adequately express or communicate to everyone and in every way how thankful we have been, how blessed we are, and how much we will miss it all. The closest I can get is by borrowing two lines from a song called “Village” by Cam. Hannah and I saw her a few months back in concert, we love her music. Anyway, the beginning of the chorus goes something like this:
“Your whole heart’s a village,
Everyone you love has built it”
As we prepare to “GO”, and for good this time, I think this is the best way to describe the place all of you, our church, our community, our family, our house, our neighborhood, our city, all of it has played in our lives. But, as we leave, you come with us because all of it has been a part of building our village and shaping who we are, and who our boys are. You can argue this if you’d like, but there may not be anyone more blessed than our family has been. God has truly shown us abundant favor in this way.
I give thanks for each of you to a gracious and loving father who has given us so much joy through you. We leave with hearts full, hearts with massive villages that we take with us to share with the people of El Salvador. The tears in Belgium were not tears of pain or sorrow, they were tears of joy and thankfulness.
As we go, we will weep, we will miss and mourn, but we do so with full hearts. Our syrup runneth over.