I am back at Starbucks this afternoon, enjoying one last bit of sweet caffeinated bliss before returning to Luoyang tomorrow.
This morning I had the opportunity to attend an international fellowship here in Beijing with my new friend Kim (a mutual friend through Katie at Show Hope). The fellowship took place at a nearby restaurant and was filled with people from several different countries residing here in Beijing. We don’t have anything like this in the city of Luoyang, so it truly was a refreshing time of corporate worship and studying the Word. One of the songs we sang was a song that came out this summer by Chris Tomlin called “I Will Follow.” I had heard it many times before I left the states.
The chorus says:
Where You go, I’ll go
Where You stay, I’ll stay
When You move, I’ll move
I will follow You
Who You love, I’ll love
How You serve, I’ll serve
If this life I lose, I will follow You
It was a song that really encouraged me throughout the summer as I prepared to come to China. It truly spoke the desire of my heart to go where He is, and move when He moves, to love like He loves, and serve like He served. It was a sweet and gentle reminder of my calling here. For me, He is here. I believe He would be found walking the halls of Maria’s holding, loving, and blessing the children. He is among the sweet faces at Maria’s, and when I love and serve them, I am loving and serving Him. I know that He is ever present in all places where His Holy Spirit resides, but for me, this is the place where I have found Him the nearest and clearest.
The text for this morning was out of John 21 where He commands His disciples to feed His sheep. The speaker posed the question, “what does following Him look like?” Does it mean you quit your job, sell everything you have, and move to China? For me, yes, that is what following Him looks like. But that is not what it looks like for everyone. Nor does it mean just because I did sell my things, quit my job and move to China that “I have arrived”…it is a constant, daily, hourly, minute-to-minute following of the One who has called me here. And whether I live in China or the U.S. my purpose is to feed His sheep and to live my life just as He did (1 John 2:6); just as that is the calling of anyone who has committed their lives to following Him, no matter where our physical location is or what our occupation may be. The speaker put it this way, “my life is now borrowed.”
So yes, my “Starbucks fix” has been met this weekend, but ever so much more importantly, my soul has been fed and I have been reminded of what following Him looks like for me; I can’t wait to return and look at the sweet faces of the babies that remind me of looking straight into the face of the One who called me to them.