There is something about the wandering heart that finds newness in everything, that not only wanders but wonders in stories being retold and sounds being reheard. A paradox of finding newness what sounds, feels, tastes, smells and looks different. I sit on the balcony in Nairobi hearing children laugh in the distance and to me it’s a new sound. Not new because I’ve never heard children laughing and playing, but new because in traversing, in wandering into new space I don’t call to mind that place from which I’ve come. I’m reminded of the passage in Hebrews that commends the heroes of faith;
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them,[c] embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. 15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them. (Hebrews 11:13-16)
The truth is that I seek a homeland of which no destination in the earth can truly satisfy, but each place fulfills me in season; in heart, soul, mind, and strength. Kenya is strength, Kenya is struggle, Kenya is expansion. For, the person of faith stretches their conception of reality through new experiences. Inherent in the call is the exercise of walking upon water, into spiritual reality.
A spiritual kingdom lies all about us, enclosing us, embracing us, altogether within reach of our inner selves, waiting for us to recognize it. God Himself is here waiting our response to His Presence. This eternal world will come alive to us the moment we begin to reckon upon its reality…What do I mean by reality? I mean that which has existence apart from any idea any mind may have of it, and which would exist if there were no mind anywhere to entertain a thought of it. That which is real has being in itself. It does not depend upon the observer for its validity.
-A.W. Tozer (The Pursuit of God)
So, I have not just stumbled upon a new location for new sounds and sights, but I realize through the call to go and travel, I intentionally press into new realities. Human experience and spiritual reality converge when empathy, compassion, and zeal amalgamate. Dietrich Bonhoeffer explains this in quote I cannot remember but I know it lives on the pages of his book “The Cost of Discipleship.” Bonhoeffer speaks of the call as creating new reality, just as Peter placed himself at the mercy of Christ’s word. We walk in to the reality that the word provides and we can never discover the existence of water walking if we do not leave the boat. Kenya is new water; new reality I reckon upon. Although the exercise of faith may be similar everything is different through a renewed mind. Cheers to day 1 in Kenya….