There's a woman in Proverbs who both vexes and challenges. Despite the many areas where the Proverbs 31 woman demonstrates the goal rather than the reality of day-to-day life around here, this week the first half of Proverbs 31:16, "She considers a field and buys it," has come to mind repeatedly. Our home is not simply our dwelling place. Neither is it only employed as our family's shelter, but as the base of operations settled on a mission field.
The mission field on which we stand is not necessarily a field of financial or intellectual poverty, although many here have found the security measured in dollars and sense shaken in recent days. There is low crime, but we hear from our neighbors that many have found themselves robbed of at least some measure of peace. The sympathy toward those suffering financial poverty sometimes comes easier than the ability to extend grace to those clutching self-made images and idols. (Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who's throwing stones around in a glass hall?) This is a different sort of field from the ones found in post-Communist Eastern Europe or in Honduras. One that can be disdained or utterly overlooked in its seeming ordinariness. Pleasant Suburb is nothing less than our home mission field.
The mister and I considered the field. We chose to buy it. The Title Co. sent the paperwork. The paperwork arrived at the wrong house. The recipient (a stranger to us) phoned rather than simply dropping the packet off on our doorstep. What followed was, improbably, a conversation/infomercial on missions. Caller had never been on a mission trip, and in the course of the conversation she asked about being scared. Hee. Sharing my own experience from the other night, I addressed Caller's concern about fear as my own was addressed. On the heels of explanation followed suggestions of local missions in our neighborhood and greater community that Caller might consider.