I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.’
I attended the life celebration service for the dad of one of our dear friends. He had graciously fought a short battle with lung cancer. The family’s patriarch, a pillar in the church and community, a soul that will be sorely missed. During the ceremony selected individuals afforded us a brief glimpse into this precious man’s talents. And of a certainty, his talents had been used and had multiplied.
As the pastor begin the eulogy, referencing Matthew 25 and the parable of the talents, he made this statement:
“The tragedy is not what I don’t have in my hands, but what I don’t use that I have in my heart.”
The words resonated.
As those words and the reflections upon “this man’s” talents begin to sink deeper within my being, I took inventory of my own talents. What are the talent in my heart, restricted because of the limitations of my hands? What and how many talents have I hidden?
During this time, I was preparing for The Coffee Lover’s Trip to Nicaragua. Grappling with excitement to apprehension, I exhausted the full spectrum of emotions the week prior to leaving. My body physically, emotionally and spiritually at a lost because of the approaching unknown.
I was afraid…
The trip was a series of firsts for tractor girl.
My first strip out of the country (Customs is scary).
My first extended trip without my husband (We’ve been married almost thirty years).
My first time zip lining (I don’t even do roller coasters).
I’ve always dreamed of visiting actual coffee farms, and now was my chance.
But, I was afraid. Very afraid.
There was a tug of war between the fear and the compel from HIM to “go.”
HE assured me through HIS word.
Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”
“Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. (Matthew 14:28,29)
*If it is true that you look favorably on me, let me know your ways so I may understand you more fully and continue to enjoy your favor. And remember that this nation is your very own people.”
The Lord replied, “I will personally go with you, Moses, and I will give you rest—everything will be fine for you.”* (Exodus 33:14,15)
With suitcase tagged as “heavy,” maybe a metaphor of the excess baggage of fear, tractor girl boarded the plane. I knew there was more to this trip than just an enhancement of my love for coffee.
I met the beautiful people who I would spend the week with.
And the events that unfolded for the week have changed my life.
The faces of the people pricked my heart.
The provision and protection of Jehovah-Jireh have made me love HIM the more.
The hidden talents revealed may have never been revealed in my comfort zones.
The unction that there is much more work to do.
It was what I needed.
The intricate, detailed process of what it takes for coffee to reach our cup mirrors the work of our talents. One small bean. One small talent. The output of not just coffee, but love, joy and salvation. All of which, the world needs.
HE continues to usher me out into the deep, bidding me come. I am his servant and he has given me many talents. What a travesty to get to the end of my journey and the mere excuse offered to HIM who has supplied the talents and the means is “Lord, I was Afraid.”
It is easy to say yes to HIM in our happy places, at home, at church. But, saying yes to the bid requires us to step out of the boat, onto the water, even if the waves are boisterous and even if we are afraid.
Places and people unknown.
The road less traveled…
…and that makes all the difference.