Stepping In

I step off the plane, headphones firmly in my ears, my MP3 player blasting worship songs into my ears. I walk down those steps, the slippery metal ones, with puddles of melted snow and slush that gleam in the sunlight. My foot touches hard, dusty, soil and it hits me. My breath gets caught in my throat and my heart stops for a second. I stand still for a moment and drink in all those racing emotions surging through my body.

I feel the bitter cold against my skin, I breathe in the dusty breeze, I smell the burning fires attempting to heat buildings and homes, I let the soot floating in the air fill my nose, I see the guns, and the helicopters, and war-planes. I hear voices speaking harshly in a language other than my mother-tongue, but a language I am oh, so, familiar with. I let it all soak in for a moment. I have come back. I have returned to my heart-land and my aching heart feels ok once more.

The music cuts through my dazed thoughts and feelings. I’m filled with awe and wonder at this God, this Healer, this Saviour, this Redeemer, this Author, who would allow me to return here, allow me the privilege of walking on this ground, of seeing these faces, of hearing this mix of languages, of sharing life with this nation. Tears spring to my eyes, I cannot help it for I am so overwhelmed by the moment. Overwhelmed that He has authored this moment into my story.

I take hold of the black handle of my case and start to walk toward the terminal building, case dragging behind me, wheels of no real benefit on this dusty, unpaved, pot-hole-ridden ground. I let the music fill my being.

“Spirit break out,
Break our walls down.
Spirit break out,
Heaven come down.”

I start a conversation with my maker, with THEIR maker. “Is it possible? Will you break out? Can you break out here?”

I look around the hall filled of people queuing to pass through passport control. I see the heavily covered women, I see the men in turbans, tunics trailing to the ground. I look at the faces of the women and I see their lifeless eyes, their hopelessness, their hunched backs speaking of oppression. They exude brokenness and I can almost feel their pain. I sneak a quick glance at the men. Their faces tell the same story, of loss, of brokenness, of resignation.

My heart breaks afresh. I know I shouldn’t show emotion, but I let the tears that escaped freely roll down my cheeks. I continue the silent conversation going on inside me. “Please, please would you break out? You are needed in this place desperately, you are the only answer here. Come, break out, please.” The lyrics fill my ears once more.

“King Jesus, you’re the name we’re lifting high;
Your glory, shaking up the earth and skies;
Revival, we want to see your kingdom here.”

The melody and words are on the tip of my tongue, their expression filling my mouth. I want to sing it out, shout it out, scream it out.  Declare that He is the name that is being lifted high; that His kingdom will come, and that we long to see it. I know I must keep silent, I must purse my lips and keep any sound from escaping. I stay silent and instead, there, in the middle of that hall, surrounded by those people, I allow my mind to scream it out to my heart, and my heart to echo it back to my mind. I allow the Spirit inside me to listen and to carry those cries to the throne room.

Next in line, I pull the headphones out of my ears and hang them around my neck. I take a deep breath in preparation for what is on the other side of the border control. I prepare my self to face whatever crazies may lay ahead.

It’s my turn. I step forward. I leave the music playing as a sort of silent protest, as a way of letting truth ring out through the corridors that I walk, in hope that maybe by having this worship playing The Spirit will break out.

He looks down at my passport and back up at my face. I hear the music so faintly only one who knew it was there and was listening hard would hear it. I hear the words echoing out.

“The heavens will roar
Your people will sing
For nothing compares to your glory”

My heart resounds with a great “Amen!”

I enter the country.


9 Comments on “Stepping In”

  1. Aww lovely I love how you write!! Have a splendid trip!!

    • EJ Reading says:

      Thanks sweet friend. First time I’ve been able to get to comments since arriving (although I am able to read them via email).
      Need to work out a better system when I come back next time.

  2. amyctilson says:

    Oh Emilie, I want to know so much more about your life there. I want to pray for fruitfulness and joy during your brief return. I hope you are able to freely share your heart and mind with us through this journey. I’ve never been there, but I can see, hear, smell, and taste it through your words.

    • EJ Reading says:

      Thank you so much Amy! Unfortunately my internet has been so bad so it’s been very hard for me to blog, tweet, email, anything much! I will be sure to blog about it all when I get back to a place with better internet.
      It is so good to be here.

  3. Emilie your writing style is so beautiful and picturesque I felt I was there with you, and then I wished that I actually was.Spread my greetings around to everyone there.

  4. Nikita (was Redding) says:

    Amazing. Your writing is perfect. What you’re doing is beyond words.
    Love xx

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