Wild At Heart
I’m stealing a book title, “Wild at Heart”, for this blog post. Perhaps you have read it? The gist of the book is that every man is “wild at heart”, longing for adventure and a challenge. At least that is what I remember Darron telling me when he read the book. I didn’t find it necessary to read the book…..I already knew I was married to a man who was/is “wild at heart”. You can only imagine that Darron was not disappointed when his job description got changed a few weeks ago. Now instead of being a “city” evangelist to Papua, he is the “Global Evangelist” to Papua. Which basically equals that he is now at liberty to spend time travelling into the unreached interior. Mobilizing pastors, student missionaries and lay people to go into the mountains. Following up on work that is already started. Inspiring new ideas. Honestly when he accepted the call to come to Papua, this is what he thought he was going to be doing. He couldn’t be happier.
Meanwhile, my heart (that is not so wild) tries to remain calm and at peace. My head tells me that the flights get riskier, the diseases and exposure get more radical, the adventure increases, the communication decreases. My un-wild heart tells me that my husband will love each minute, that this truly is his heartbeat, that God can hold him just as well in the jungle as He can in the city. And so “grass widow” (that’s me), let’s go and lets the wild run free. It get’s a little trickier when it involves letting boys go too. Aubrey and Andrew, at 14 and weeks from 13, have elements of this wild at heart thing pulsating through their veins. I can physically watch the levels rise. As Andrew says almost daily, “I want to go and climb that mountain”.
We decided several months ago that over the long Christmas break that Darron should take the older 2 boys on a trip into the interior. The logical spot was where they are trying to build an airstrip in the mountains. Many of you have seen videos’ of this spot. It is where men still where penis gourds. For the last week we have been drying fruit, peas, and carrots. Collecting snacks and fillers that will help boys who are not used to rice three times a day, survive. Survive 6 days in “THE INTERIOR”. Many mission families live in remote places of Papua for months at a time, so 6 days…….?! Last night mosquito nets, flashlights, warm clothes, were packed and weighed. Shovels, rice, axes, were bought to encourage and “pay” workers for their time on the airstrip.
Aubrey sprained his ankle at Sunday night soccer. It was a bad enough sprain that he could not bare weight on it for a good 32 hours. However, when he started vomiting on Christmas Eve….the sprain was put aside as the stomach ruled. Needless to say, Aubrey was not sure if he could go on the trip. As the count down to departure became nearer we realized that if he hiked slowly, that he should be alright. Yet we left the decision completely up to him. No decision comes easy to Aubrey, but this one battled at his very core. To go and fulfill the call to the wild (and risk re injury to the ankle and possible increased stomach issues) or stay home, play it safe, and be so unchallenged (with MOM). 10 minutes before the flight Aubrey stated he was not going. Gave his portion of food to his Dad and brother. Then walked around the room looking very mad. I stated very matter-of-factly, “Aubrey, if you are going to choose to stay home, then you need to choose to be happy.” Two minutes later he was running after his Dad with his backpack. I guess the thought of spending 6 days with Mom and her no nonsense grass widow attitude was enough to give him the courage to face those wild things pulling at his heart.
So with that….Jacob, Nathaniel and I locked the house and trudged after them, to watch them disappear into the horizon on their winged flight. A crate of live chickens were loaded also for a feast that is suppose to happen on Saturday as a church is organized up in the mountains. The dogs wanted to eat those chickens so badly.
Then the doors were shut. The engines roared to life. The propeller spins so fast that its blades becomes one in motion.
Jacob (9) and Nathaniel (7) step up to what is wild enough for their hearts and that is to stand behind the plane and let the wind blow on them, creating an incredible sensation that can only inspire bigger wild thoughts. We waved goodbye. This evening, Jacob and Nathaniel desired to “have a blanket picnic”. Complete with popcorn, water melon and sandwiches. They are perfectly content to stay with grass widow Mom. Chattering about dreams and thoughts and happenings. This is wild enough for them and me.
I’m thinking maybe I need to read the book. Perhaps it will give me strategies for handling this emotion that apparently is at the core of every man. Obviously, it is not going to go away magically in my life. Nor do I wish it too. After all, I love Darron and God gave me these 4 amazing boys who are going to stretch and desire challenges and adventures that I would never dream to accept. May I always have to the grace to let go and let them be…..all that their heart calls them to be.