As I see the budding trees and enjoy the rolling hills of Arkansas, a small twinge interrupts my reverie. An old longing, hidden now in the recesses of my heart, leaps forward in my mind. How wonderful it would be to live in the forest, in a small log cabin in the woods, surrounded by the beauty of nature. How peaceful it would be to raise my children in a place where they could run in and out of the house amidst the calls and songs of the birds, never once thinking of the harm that could befall them in this era when children are no longer safe. I would love to daily look upon God's green earth, enjoying Him in my purest form of worship. In all honesty, it is in nature that I feel closest to my Lord. I feel Him in the wind, see Him in His in His glorious creation, and listen to His clear voice whispering through the tree tops.
No, this doesn't sound like the missionary Casey, the one who fought long and hard to move to Cambodia. God has seen fit to teach me to love Him in the dusty streets of Phnom Penh in a house made of concrete among the brash sounds of many a foreign people constantly about me. His love, His truth, will suffice, I know...but when my heart grows tired, to what field will I run so I may call out to my Father, under what tree will I rest, and to which blossom will I look and find comfort?
For my birthday, Chris took a picture of a beautiful autumn leaf, framed it, and bought an apple cider candle as its companion. I will remember God in the nature of my homeland. I will remember all He has done for me. And one day, in the distant future, I will remember seeing my Lord in the crowded markets of a Cambodian province, in the endlessness of green rice fields, and in the smile of a new Khmer sister.