Saturday, October 15, 2011

Tu Sabes

May 13: My final day as a Church Administrator.  It wasn’t just my ‘last day worked’, it was also the last time I felt competent.  The last time I understood what needed to be done, the last time I knew how to do it.  The last time I had answers when people came to me with questions.  
In case you’re counting, that makes five months of feeling utterly lost and completely confused.  And, in case you’re wondering, it’s not a feeling I cherish!

There’s a phrase people use here in the D.R., Tu sabes.  It means You know.  It’s a way to kind of soften things when you’re chiding someone, or pointing out something they need to correct. 
For example, Dona Gloria explained to me, in rapid-fire Spanish, that the hot water in my apartment has a switch I need to turn on.  It’s in the living room.  But, only for 20 minutes before I shower, and after I’m done, I need to turn it off because it’s very expensive.  Tu sabes.

When my car alarm randomly went off (that alarm is a blog post unto itself!), Dona Gloria’s domestica, Maria, told me I need to get someone to fix it.  Maybe this week while you’re at work, she said.  Tu sabes. 
In El Callejon I hear it, too.  About situations, people, problems, needs… More things I don’t have a clue about, but Tu sabes. 
I feel like yelling, No, I don’t sabes.  The fact of the matter is, I don’t sabes anything these days.  (well, yes, I do at least know that I’d actually have to say Yo no se, not Yo no sabes!)
We learned about this at MTI (missionary training).  Sitting in a comfortable classroom in beautiful Colorado, discussing (in English!) feeling confused and incompetent is a far cry from having people repeat their simplest sentences two or three time. 
It’s a far cry from the broken record I am right now.  Every question this week’s team asked me received pretty much one response – I’m sorry, but I don’t know.  (And, quite honestly, I’m sure I wasn’t very gracious about it.)
I’ve been having a grand ol’ time feeling sorry for myself.  I’m serving You, Jesus, and all I feel is useless.  I can’t even go to the store without fretting about finding a place to park and trying to understand how much I need to pay.  It’s just not fair!

And then, just when I was ready to go full-out pity-party, the Holy Spirit gently reminded me (once again!) of Jesus’ sacrifice for our sakes.  Not just the cross, but the very fact that He became one of us.  The Creator and Sustainer of all things, chose to be limited in a frail, human body. 
Did Jesus ever tire of the fact that He couldn’t be in more than one place at a time?  Did He ever feel frustrated that He needed to stop ministering in order to sleep and eat?  Yes, He was God, but He was also human, which meant sore feet, a hungry stomach and heavy eyes.

Jesus was tired, and stopped to rest by a well.  In that resting, He ministered to a woman used by men and rejected by her own people.  If Jesus hadn’t been tired, He wouldn’t have needed to stop.  Instead of bemoaning His human body, He seized the opportunity to share Living Water with the Samaritan woman.
Oh, Jesus!  You gave up far, far more than I can comprehend in order to bring Your Father glory here on earth.  Please forgive my petulant attitude.  Please help me to serve You right now.  Not only ‘someday’ when I feel competent, but today, with these annoyances and frustrations. 

Thank you that You do know – Tu sabes.  Tu sabes todas las cosas.  You know all things.  Tu me sabes.  You know me.  Tu me sabes y tu me amas.  You know me and You love me.
Please help me to live out of that place of being known, that place of being loved. May I turn to You alone for all my hope, all my confidence.  May I never forget that only in You can I do anything, and that in You, all things are truly possible.


  1. Praying for you Kim! I know how you feel about those moments when people have said Tu Sabes but in reality I really don't know or understand and it's not fun at all.

  2. Upper Room Class today was studying Isaiah 43's opening verses. Always loved them: God says "I have called you by name, Kim ... Geraldine ... Connor! You are mine. I will give up whole nations for you." This sorta addresses your closing prayer. Blessings -- Tu Sabes.