Starfruit

Starfruit.

Its very name is beguiling.  I’ve seen it every week at the grocery store and often been intrigued.  It has such an interesting, exotic appearance, with its five peaked lobes stretching along its shiny, yellow body.  I always wondered what it was like, but never enough to try it. The other day, though, Karen noticed it, laughed, and asked what it was.

“Well, that’s a starfruit, and you cut it into slices that look like stars.  We can get one and try it.”

“No, Daddy; I just wondered what it was.  We don’t need to try it.”

It went in the cart anyway.  Then – to her brief relief – it came back out, only to be replaced with a riper one, thanks to a helpfully alert produce clerk (he said to look for a brightly yellow one, preferably with some brown spots).  I’m trying to expand the kids’ appetites (and ours) in anticipation of not having as much choice about expanding them once we get overseas.  I’m also trying to teach myself to swallow lamb without displaying how much I don’t want to.

We all watched as I sliced it.  Frankly, that was the best part, with a nice appearance, a firmness that was pleasant through the knife, and a faint but enjoyable sound of cutting.  The kids would only smell it.  I tried it … I didn’t dislike it, but I couldn’t decide what I thought of it or even how it tasted.  It was just really, really different than I’d expected.

* * *

It was kind of like a meeting I had recently.  Someone from church had excitedly approached us about our ministry and wanted to meet to discuss it.  Great!  We’re not stalking people, but we do need to raise financial support, so this was very encouraging.  The husband and I got together and had a very energetic conversation about the journalism work I’ll be doing and how that came about.

Their interest, though, was not related to support.  He’s also out of work and thought that his photography skills and international experience might be well-suited to work like mine.  He was networking for information, and there’s an inherent compliment in there; I was glad to help.  The meeting was enjoyable; it was just really, really different than I’d expected.

A few days later, an online classmate said he’d mentioned me to a friend who works with an aviation mission in Africa.  His friend needs a full-time journalist to cover their work.  I absolutely LOVE airplanes and always have; I grew up at airshows and have planes on my desk to inspire me.  I took ground school and, if I didn’t have a balance disorder, I would want desperately to get a pilot’s license.  Combine missions, writing, Africa, and airplanes?  Why don’t you just throw in unlimited bacon and a monogrammed griddle?!  Can I recommend someone for this?  Yeah!

This other guy.  He’s a skilled photographer and has worked overseas.  Here’s his contact information; maybe you two can help each other.  Tracy couldn’t believe I didn’t consider jumping at this assignment, but I just didn’t perceive God asking me to.  I knew that I wanted to, but I didn’t perceive Him leading me to.

* * *

I don’t know exactly where we’ll serve God.  I don’t know exactly what it’ll be like or exactly how many years we’ll be stationed there or what God has in store for us, but I know how good God is:  infinitely.  I know that whatever He gives those who try (howsoever imperfectly) to follow Him is ultimately much better than anything we could ever plan for ourselves.  I know that even though things don’t always turn out how we want, that He is always with us, working in ways we can’t always understand for purposes we can’t always see.  I know that He wants us to stretch beyond what’s comfortable, familiar, and convenient in order to experience Him more fully.  We’re supposed to seek His voice and let it change and direct us, not charge off on our own.

The starfruit is in the fridge, waiting for me to try again.

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