Through the Lens of my Earthly Glasses
Lots of things just don't make sense through the lens of my 'earthly' glasses... poverty, taxes, politics, human trafficking, Donald Trump, spousal abuse and on and on.
Beyond any of these things, I tell you, lies one thing that seriously doesn't make sense to me; the brain cancer of an incredible woman, lifetime missionary, beloved friend, Katrina Engle.
I met Katrina over 7 years ago when she visited Dallas on furlough. By that time in our preparation to be 'missionaries', Alex and I had decided to visit the Miskito Coast, but 'for sure' not move there. Our dinner with her only sealed the deal... the stories she shared were just too graphic and raw for my Texas-girl mind to wrap around. And the thought of taking my babies into 'that world' was literally too much to fathom.
She talked of fundraising and George Muller, whose biography we had just been reading. She told us many stories of God's miraculous provision which strengthened my faith.
I don't think she ever believed this comfortable, suburban couple would actually move to La Mosquitia, Honduras. I didn't believe it, so why would she?
And yet, in 2010, we showed up, much to all of our surprise.
Katrina was and is my missionary reference point. She has survived a serious plane crash, malaria, serious theft, childbirth in a grossly deficient hospital and a million other indescribable things. And, she survived brain surgery in July of last year.
Katrina has loved the Miskito people for over 25 years. She has been Jesus with skin-on to an entire race. She has served uncountable numbers of disabled children and children who were tossed aside due to horrific life circumstances. She has raised so many children - her nickname here is Mama Miriki (American Mama). She has shown grace upon grace to thousands of people. I'm pretty sure every family here has been touched by Katrina's fingerprints in some way.
As I tried desperately to tolerate the sweltering heat, the language, the intense poverty, the feeling of desperation in my first few years here, I was always able to remind myself that Katrina had survived and thrived in this setting and I could, too. Her example has always been motivating to me. And sometimes, her example was my lifeline when I literally felt that I could not survive another day here.
Katrina left Puerto Lempira last July for her first brain surgery in Tegucigalpa. Honduras. She then went to the US and had chemo and radiation. This summer she was able to come back 'home' to Honduras for a few months and enjoy her Honduran family.
After she arrived back in the US, she discovered her brain tumor was 'behaving badly' (to use her words). She will have a second brain surgery next week.
Please pray for my beautiful friend. She is at peace and this trial is only an opportunity for her to trust in the God she has loved for so long. You see, Katrina looks at the world through Eternity Glasses. She sees with a longer view, a God-sized view.
Me, I'm not at peace and I've misplaced my Eternity Glasses. I'm wrestling and grieving and wish we had just a few more hours together before her surgery to laugh like crazy women and intensely compete against one another in Scrabble. I'm sick when I confront my selfishness with my time and, I wonder, what was so all-fired important in my schedule these last few months that kept me from organizing a Scrabble night???
Lesson for you as you read these words ... it may sound over-said but, please, please, please don't let the time get away from you. If there is something you can do today, do it! If there is someone you can love today, love them! If there is a game of Scrabble to be played, dog-gone it, play it!