Do You Return Different?


Peace, Be Still…   © Rebekah Hope

Andrea and I were just talking about “adventure blues,” – that time when you get home after accomplishing something freeing and joyful and then…you’re home.

There was a movie my class watched in college (American History 1945-present) that won the Academy Award in 1945 called The Best Years of Our Lives.  It’s about soldiers returning from WWII and having to re-enter society and “fit in.”

Without giving anything away, the adjustment is quite difficult. Nobody back home was with these soldiers when they fought the Nazis. Their experiences weren’t shared, so there is a natural distance of space between our “heroes” and the homefront.

They “grew up” when they were gone…and now they’re back.  Sometimes it is hard to communicate all that you have experienced–all that you have seen–the truths shared–the heights explored.

Do you identify with this feeling? It happened to us this week. Our good friend Bekah came to visit us and live with our family for a week.

We ate. We laughed. We climbed mountains. We hiked miles through snow and soaked our cares away in hot springs. We marveled at the “Narnia” trees we saw on the road. Deer and Elk (45 of them!) greeted us from the side of the highway and sometimes [screech!!!] right in front of us. We saw waterfalls and avalanches. We saw rock.rock.ROCKS in the road.  We celebrated Arielle’s 9th birthday. The time flew by.


Bonneville Hot Springs © Jason Stern

Our words for the year were ever present. Mine, adventure. Andrea’s, trust. Bekah’s, nakedAnd we thought about true friendship and Christian vulnerability.

We talked about how vulnerable Jesus is–how he went from King to the essence of vulnerability–a little baby.

My youngest son is 7 months old. He cannot do anything for himself. When he wants something, he tells us the only way he knows how–with his little voice.  It’s hard to imagine Jesus allowing Himself to become a tiny helpless baby like our son Iain, but He did.

He didn’t stop there. When His disciples wanted to know which of them would be the “greatest” in the Kingdom, Jesus stripped down as a slave and cleaned their dirty feet. “This,” He said, “is how you become the greatest.”

He showed them that love is the way to lead.

And then in the most vulnerable of acts, He allowed cruel men to pin his wrists to a crossbeam and His naked body was hoisted into the sky for all the world to see.

“If I be lifted up from the earth,” He had said before, “I will draw all people to Myself.”

Pinned. Nailed. Stuck. Unmovable.  For hours, he could not scratch an itch. He could not stretch a muscle. He could not stop birds from trying to peck His eyes out.  Vulnerable. Naked. Trusting. An adventure?

The greatest adventure.

He trusted His Father to see Him through. For us.

Jesus patiently endured humiliation, shame, ridicule, even death.  And He won.  Andrea reminded me that He really showed us that He is a “friend closer than a brother.”

And He paved the way for us to follow Him into His Kingdom.

When we dropped Bekah off at the airport, Andrea remarked to her how special it is to have friendships where we can actually be comfortable in our own skin.

Should this be so rare?

When I got back to my computer, I found she’d left me a note with the drawing above and a word picture that the Lord had given her for our family.  I’ll share it with you. I’m sure Bekah wouldn’t mind:

“You have been in a storm. Tossed about by wind and elements from every direction. But He has spoken ‘Peace, be still.’  And every whisper of wind or water current has obeyed His command. He calms the sea. … But you are not adrift. Your sails are filled with the very breath of God and He blows you to shore where He pleases. What a grand adventure!”


And while we are sad to finish one set of adventures, there certainly will be more to come. Grand ones.

How do you reflect when you return after an adventure? Are you different?


One thought on “Do You Return Different?

  1. I am most decidedly forever changed by our adventures. And it wasn’t just the physical atmosphere that created the adventure, though it definitely heightened it. It was the sharing of hearts, more vulnerably than every before. I got a taste of the unity He intends for us. With that kind of love, we’ll never get bored.

    Love and miss you all terribly.

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