The Space Between

The Space Between January 27, 2007

It’s a strange, strange phenomenon. As I sat listening to her talk about leaving for Zimbabwe for at least six months carrying only a backpack, I was caught somewhere in between nostalgic recognition when I saw the sparkle in her eyes and heard the lift in her voice . . . and the strangely recognizable horror she described her parents feeling right at this moment.

My friend Sadie has left for an adventure halfway across the world, and I couldn’t be happier. Or more worried. It’s all so confusing!

I recognized, of course, as Sadie talked, that feeling of utter certainty the next step I was taking was the right one. In my case that has often involved leaving for foreign countries as well. I, too, said my goodbyes and headed off for far-flung locales. I remember. And my heart lifts with excitement when I hear her talk.

The problem this time, I think, is that I have an almost-13-year-old sitting at the kitchen counter explaining his view of the world to me . . . he seems so sure but I know from this vantage point that there’s still a lot he has to learn. Frankly, the thought of him heading off to one of the most politically unstable countries in the world, risking his very life to follow his dreams . . . well, that just makes me want to run screaming from the kitchen.

I know, I know.

Sadie is not 13.

And I am not her mother.

In fact, I believe with all my heart that God goes with her and, in fact, will be with her no matter what comes her way.


But I confess I miss her and have been worrying about her quite a bit. I expect, of course, that this is the mother in me coming out, the utter fear of one of my children hearing the call of distant lands.

But, another part of me still remembers what it was like . . . and has to fight the compulsion to pack my own backpack and meet up with Sadie somewhere in Bulawayo, you know what I mean?

Since the kids are likely still depending on me for occasional dinners at least a little while longer . . . and since I know Sadie is following her heart and the call of God all the way to Africa . . . I guess I’ll stow away the backpack for awhile, stop the hyperventilating over what might happen and live somewhere in the space between the two.

So I’ll stay there, in the space between for awhile, praying a lot and sending my love along with Sadie, tucked into a little corner of that backpack.

Go with God, Sadie!


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