Her words sting. Her tone even more so. His questions offend and belittle. Even more so the way he turns from me when I’m talking and gives his attention to a three-inch screen that transcends my presence. I’m struggling and they push me further down. Out of the blue my throat catches and eyes well. No, it’s not this. This is my life. Every waking hour is spent working with and for these people and I do not expect approval or accolades. So why this emotion bubbling up? Because underneath this week’s heroic scientific endeavors to cure the diseases of mankind (i.e. exhaustion and confusion and one small smile), underneath the no-nonsense elocution and the aesthetically pleasing slides, my soul is blue with grief. A grief that is hidden and yet overpowering. The loss of friends and mentors to the mission field is an enormous gain for the people of a faraway land, an enormous gain for the kingdom, yet an enormous loss to their children, grandchildren, elderly parents, and even those like me whom they brushed past for a mere number of years on the planet. This blue hue so subtle it could be mistaken for clear skies but is really thinly veiled rain. Safe under the shelter of home, the rain clouds pour out and I realize how very full those clouds-that-look-like-clear-sky really are. And as the sorrow flows I know that this is the best kind of sorrow, the most healthy kind of loss. No it is not at the hand of evil or sin, but at the hand of a loving God. Why he would devastate so many in order to bless so many others is beyond comprehension. Why he would bless me with their friendship at all is even more remarkable. I do not hold back the tears because I know the One who catches them. And He is good. And while my grief is nothing compared to others, I know that as surely as God has called my friends to the mission field, as surely as he has orchestrated their going and is making a way for himself into the hearts of those who have not known Him, surely He will care for each of us little lost lambs left at home.