Welcome to The Vagabond Way.
I have a name, but I can’t write it here. Call me Train (I’ll tell you why later). I live with my family and my excellent team in an undisclosed location in Eurasia – let’s call it Narnya. We’re working to see Christ formed here, and our hearts are fully in that, but that’s not all that’s in our hearts. When Jesus told us to move here, he gave us work to do that was part of a larger burden and calling that sits in our hearts – the welfare of the whole church in the whole world. That burden is the seed that this little blog will grow from.
Some friends I deeply respect have asked me to start writing for the wider church, and that request worked to water this seed. Now, life is unpredictable here, so postings here may at times be sporadic. And my personality is pretty focused by nature, so postings will be about what I’m thinking about and wrestling with while I work here. That’s not to say that this blog will be about Narnya. And it certainly won’t be about me. I hate those kinds of blogs. But it will be an attempt to encourage and build up the larger Body of Christ with what we are learning, receiving, suffering, and thinking about wherever we’re hanging our hat at the moment.
A word or two about the metaphors may be useful here. I call this place Narnya because it’s a post-Soviet, Muslim republic. So, it often seems like it’s “always winter but never Christmas”. A better metaphor has never been uttered, let me tell you. But this place has seen the Lion before. Jesus’ name was once revered here, and the Lion will be celebrated here again. For those reasons, I find Narnya an apt metaphor. The spelling is in honor of how things here are rooted in local culture, but influenced by Russian culture as well. Nothing says “Russian” to me like a nice, tight y-sound. Also, that’s how it would be spelled here.
The blog is called The Vagabond Way. My family, we’re vagabonds. We go where He sends us, leaves in His wind. We’re at home nowhere and everywhere, and we command almost no respect based on power or position. Paul said that people in our line of work are “fools for Christ’s sake, …weak, …held in disrepute. To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless….When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things.” It’s an apt metaphor. But from this place at the bottom, we can do a lot of good. So, while we await our continuing city from heaven to come to earth, and while we jones for our Foreverhome, we’re content to be blown about and to do what we can while we can to heal the world.
For now, I’ll leave you with my favorite poem in the whole wide world. It’s from Marjorie Milne’s Rhymes from a Lindisfarne Monk. I hope you like it, too.
He is my King;
in my heart He’s hid.
He is my joy all joys amid.
I am a drop in His ocean lost
His coracle I, on His wide sea tost,
A leaf in His storm.
The book of His praise
in my wallet slung,
the cloak of His friendship round me flung,
hither and thither about I’m blown,
my way an eddy, my rest a stone,
and He my fire.
My meat His work
and my drink His will,
He is my song, my strength, my skill,
and all men my lovers in good and ill,
through Him my desire.