The Restorative Power Of Things I Am Good At.

by Chris Kamalski

Three months of blurry moments. This past season (Is that a small light at the end of the tunnel?) has been filled with deep re-entry culture shock, the warm embrace of re-connecting with family and friends after a year overseas, navigating profoundly conflicting emotions as I turn my eyes towards an imminent return to South Africa for another season of missional service, all the while becoming clearly convinced I am called to invest deeper in ministry partnerships that began this past year with whom I am now just approaching a starting line of service.

This reality has necessitated a seemingly endless amount of financial details, the confusing maze of figuring out how to live overseas on a more permanent basis, and a mess of appointments with friends and family supportive of this endeavor. Short of the invaluable relational time I have had with people who love me, plus many significant moments with donors as I tell the story of God’s work in and through me in South Africa, I find myself swimming in the minutia of detail that needs to be sorted prior to my leave on March 8th. Often, this has seemed more hopeless than profoundly uplifting, more an exercise in pushing through a host of things that I am not naturally gifted in, as opposed to living from a place of openness and responsive availability from my heart, the place where God’s Spirit actually dwells.

An unexpected gift (I hesitate to flippantly use such a word that describes another’s deep tragedy) opened before me Thursday evening, as I spoke with a dear former student of mine who is walking through an engagement that has suddenly ended without much warning. Naturally drawn towards this sort of grief-filled loss given my own relational history, I wanted to offer a listening presence to a hurting friend who is sifting through the wreckage of the loss of a relationship. I won’t betray his confidence in sharing the details of said conversation, other than to remark that opening my heart to another in need (in this murky season of preparation in everything I am not naturally gifted in) is so life-giving to me!

I was startled by the restorative power of doing something I am naturally good at the other night. It was a breath of fresh air, more needed than I realized, in my soul. The momentary nature of its presence awakened something in me that has lay dormant for many months. I want this kind of life.