So, I was at the BMA National Meeting listening to my pastor’s wife address a group of missionary wives. I did not feel like I belonged there. I mostly wanted to be there to support Joanna and the other speaker, who is also a friend of mine. I have heard Jo speak several times now. I know she hates it, but I enjoy it because the woman can’t help but be authentic. I dig authenticity.
She asked the question, “If you had to describe in one word what God has taught you on the mission field, what would it be?” I am not a missionary wife, but I guess I kinda-sorta was one for awhile. I was a backdoor, basement level missionary’s wife—you know a local missionary/church planter. And, it did not go well. It was not successful. There is no Haven Baptist Church present in NWA, mission or otherwise. And, not everyone thought we were great. Go figure.
Anyways, this question intrigued me. Surely, I have the right just to answer this little question? After having this discussion with myself, I thought about it. So, my word is DISENCHANTMENT. Disenchantment?!? What kind of word is that?!? My pastor’s wife just threw out TRUST and had a fancy little acrostic to go with it (Okay… It wasn’t fancy, but it was quite good… Sorry, Jo.). Other women were coming up with FAITH and HOPE and LOVE.
However, I can’t escape this word. Disenchantment… Dictionary.com defines disenchantment as: to rid of or be free from enchantment, illusion, credulity, etc.; disillusion. Here is the example sentence: The harshness of everyday reality disenchanted him of his idealistic hopes.
Idealistic hopes… Wow. That really punches me in the gut. I have been branded as idealistic. It’s time to picture that shushing woman again.
So, my word is disenchantment. Disenchantment with my dreams, my hopes, and my “if you build it, they will come” mentality. Ministry, mission field or otherwise, isn’t about a face, a personality, or a call to help people. At least, I hope not. It is all about a location, an eternal one.
Disenchantment with my definition of success. Disenchantment with wanting people to view me as successful. The other speaker reminded me that it is God who builds his church. He sent his son to die for the church. The church made of people, his children. That is way more investment than I am ever capable of having. If the God of the Universe is for the church, what exactly am I worried about anyway?
And finally, disenchantment with myself. I am not the gift to mankind or the failure I sometimes convince myself I am. I am a mess, but not a failure. But the last time I checked, so was the Woman at the Well. Look what happened to her. Jesus took time to relate personally with her. What could be better than that?