“Dear Dad,” she writes. “I cannot believe how brave you are to be doing this. I will be praying for your every single day.”
Her daddy leaves tomorrow, up through the clouds and up over his fields and his pigs, and up over all of Iowa and this nation of vast abundance. And then, he descends …
into a place of deep need and hunger.
Buechner wrote it: “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
This Iowa farmer — blonde-haired Norwegian — will look into the eyes of Haitian children and their mamas, all faces of hunger. He’ll hike up the mountain to tell people about Jesus. (How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news.) He’ll build roofs. (Hope secured, always, with the nails.)
It’s his first trip like this. The girls and I, we will stay home, praying for our brave man.
I’ve never been there, but I know this already: That man of mine will leave half of his heart in another country, in the alleyways of a ramshackle village where a child will wrap her arms around his neck — the way my girls do. But, somehow, with half a heart left behind, I expect him to come back with a heart bigger than the one he’s got.
Only God. Only God can do a thing like that — divide a heart, yet make it grow. We can never love too much.
Lydia writes her note to her daddy, before she gets on the bus this morning.
“God is smiling down on you,” she writes. “I love you as far as the east is from the west.”
We’re packing, preparing, praying today…
“Go where your best prayers take you.”
— Frederick Buechner