Two years later, and it is Sunday again. This post reaches me with its questions. No longer is Kaş my special place to which I withdraw from time to time. It has become my workplace, our offering. Everyday life. Filled with desire to remain aware of Jesus' brooding presence and ready to serve as His hands and feet. Alert. Celebratory. At peace.
The fruit and vegetable shop was like heaven yesterday. Rich, red tomatoes, ripe peaches and perfect strawberries. Stacks of watermelon.
I try to imagine what it will be like to live here, for we think that day draws near. So far, for me, Kaş has been about prayer and rest and simplicity—permission to stop for awhile, notice and celebrate. A place to watch with You. Is it possible to savor that in a full-time life here? So that it spills over into joyous welcome to others?
Reading Miriam Adeney’s Kingdom Without Borders (Intervarsity Press 2009), I ponder willingness to be of no repute in a backwater town where Jesus is not known. To quietly move into the neighborhood. She tells of Latin American professionals who moved to the Middle East and simply immersed themselves in local life. A gentle approach that allowed some in that place to get to know Jesus. That story resonates with our sense of call to this place.
“To move into the neighborhood.” An occasional paraphrase of John 1:14: “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.” An image of incarnation.
Now there is a daunting thought. Is that what we are to Kaş? My theology kicks in—of course it is. Christians, indwelt by His living Spirit, embody Jesus Christ to this broken world. We are His living presence. Wherever we live.
But before we have lived in places where the church and family was our primary focus: the community of already-believers and seekers. Our kids. My dad. Those who sought me out for counsel, for their needs and growth. Did my prayer take much notice of the neighbors? The shopkeepers? The security guards and cleaners? The ordinary folk of the town? Here we are oh-so-much-more aware that Jesus incarnated Himself when He moved us into the neighborhood.
Oh Lord, to hold this image for Kaş, yes. But to find it in whatever community I find myself—to Your glory, to eternal love and life.
Sunday morning in a town that does not know you. We’ve come “home” to Kaş for a holiday, and to our balcony to pray. The mosque singer pauses long between phrases today. Is he old and out of breathe? Ill? The town bustles with life, parking lot full, people on the move, carrying goods. Tourists with their day-packs and sacks of food.