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Courtly summers

Kentucky has been a corner of His Courts this summer…and has been just what my heart needed. 

The deep peach moons…the fields of locusts…the stars that burn heavy in the night sky… the endless breeze  running its fingers through the younger lake below it…the bullfrogs that chorus with an endurance and vehemence that rivals the prarie of wild bison down the road…not being able to tell the difference between the hellos of strangers and family…because people down here care about one another…the grin that surfaces when you start to recount just how much sweet tea you may have actually consumed in a summer…the renowned small-town challenge here of trying to eat the “Whopper,” a 28 inch pancake…feeling a day pass by the only speed this part of the world knows: slowly, steady and true…seeing bald men watch bald eagles for hours on end…tubing until either your knuckles or fingers give in and start to bleed…having a thrill of a fight as a 20-30 inch blue-channel catfish, which looks more like a baby whale with whiskers, doubles over your pole turning it into Mr. Fantastic as you negotiate one of the oldest trades on the planet…eating that same catfish later that day knowing you became, even if for a moment, a hunter/provider, like those of old without the convenience of technology…taking naps for as little as a half hour and feeling refreshed as a long night’s sleep…

running in 5:00am light and avoiding toads and great blue herons napping in the twilight…running in 6:00am light and having to hurdle snakes who already staked claim to the slowly toasting road…spending enough early hours running in God’s dawn that you confidently know the smallest of differences between the two auroras you’ll find yourself in…playing tennis until blisters become callouses, and callouses become your tailormade nature band-aid…reading the Word and chatting with God at the lake while your feet are pursued by windswept waves, schools of minnows and curious turtles…playing scrabble beneath wonderful Italian’esque lighting while Sinatra fills the air…cooking dishes you’d only ever talked about cooking…feeling the reward of service as I cut down stubborn limbs for hours for my elderly neighbors with a polesaw…loving that even the freeways here reflect a slower lifestlye: 50mph…sharing the supermarket lines and roads with Mennonites as they almost keep pace in their horse-drawn carts…being able to look for snakes again beneath old abandoned pieces of wood…being inspired by the pace of life to again write handwritten letters to people…praying to God through the night while His wonderfully violent thunderstorm carries on outside and on in through my windows…sitting on my deck and refusing to go in while a tornado passed all around…slowing down to watch Kentucky clouds, thick and bright, all afternoon brave the night…findind such power and rest in God in the 30 minute drives back from the movie theater, where nothing but warm winds toss your hair and sweet honeysuckle through the air…finding some new success learning to be entirely without people and just with God…raiding through my families collective stashes of excess clothes, food and stuff, and showing up to the local shelter and watching the lady well up with the amount of tidings I had brought her…reading through more missionary biographies and learning to allow deep down inside me the time-line of a missionary, which I so quickly forget is filled with much patience and preparation…learning to Love from afar…learning to come to terms with the ever fragile lives that fall and rise all around us in strangers and in loved ones…

Kentucky has impressed upon me what so many already knew it to be, and what God has always meant it to be…part of His kingdom. I thank Him for my time here and pray all of you may have gone through such roller-coasters this summer.

May you soon return to nothing normal, only to fragrances of the familiar, ready to do His work and be consumed with one thing…to fight for and Love on His people the way He does. 

Cheers to God for Courtly summers!


About justingunter

I'm recently 29 years old, recently married and ready to change the world for God. He has called me to be a missionary! This means more than just changing zip codes and living in countries where I struggle (for a while) speaking the language the locals dream in. It means a lifestyle of sacrifice, audacious Hope and above all, a desire for Jesus simply because He is who He is. I moved to Franklin, TN in October 15th of 2012 and expect this to be the first of many changes for the great calling on the Gunter's life. Side note...I dig being married. It helps when you're married the best woman ever! Teale and I feel called to plant churches, combat sex trafficking and be a place of refuge and Holy sojourn to all who would seek to join alongside us for good or for a season. For now, Ol' Rocky Top is our home, Zoey is our Great Dane and we, the Gunters, love Jesus with all we have.

One response »

  1. Katie Harrington

    I had some time to reflect about my trip out to the wonderful place you mentioned above. You have done a wonderful job describing what that place had done to your heart and though I still am having a hard time putting my experience into word, I would think that I would feel the same way.

    My heart and mind have been forever changed by this trip and now looking back I wouldn’t mind having lazy afternoons, warm summer evenings on the lake and talking with friends outside on a starlit night any day at all. It takes me back to when I was a little kid, playing until all hours, not a care in the world. Now I’m considered an adult and those things have faded away. That is until this place brought me back.. Thank you God for bringing me back to a place that I had longed for to come back.


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