I feel like I’m floating in some sort of time and space continuum. My life here in the States doesn’t feel real. Like my heart and mind are elsewhere. Which might be why I forgot to pay any bills this month..
A version of this happens every summer as I sit in my cold office watching people post about their vacations to the beach or weekdays at the pool. It’s the sacrifice you make to grow up. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I’ve been able to do A.LOT. More than most, probably. In fact, I’ve got at least two more big trips coming up this summer alone. But the more I travel, the more I realize that this girl was meant for traveling.
I want to be everywhere, all the time. Walking through the world showcase at EPCOT, visiting my sister on set in Santa Fe, learning the in’s and out’s of Los Angeles with Bill and Prosper, chilling in Central Park with a good book, sitting on the grass playing peek-a-boo in Uganda with Joel, staring at the Statue of David for hours in Florence, and missing the morning train to Chicago with my friend Rosie. Unfortunately, I want it all.
But today, I just want to be sitting in the South African dirt with some beautiful refugees. Reading about angels. Coloring paper crosses. Passing out Bibles. Trying on flip flops. Chasing monkeys. Hugging necks. Meeting a need.
When you see firsthand the poverty and evil that cripples this world, you cannot walk away unchanged.
The vulnerability. The struggle. The pain. The hardness.
In the midst of the situation, I wonder why I’m not more affected by it. I stand in a room full of unwed teenage mothers who have been raped, and I hug and kiss their babies, born out of sin, and yet greatly loved by their Heavenly Father. How am I not crippled by tears? How am I even able to carry on a conversation? How are my emotions not uncontrollable?
If there is one thing that I have learned about the Lord, it is this truth:
“Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.” Psalm 54:4
Because of His sustaining grace, I did not cry over the brokenness of the people in Musina. But I cry today. I cry for those women, and their pain. I cry for those babies, that they feel His love. I cry for the men, displaced and sleeping in the dirt, in hopes that they can provide for their families. I cry out to God to make His presence known among them. But I did not cry then.
Standing in such hard places, He sustains.
For us to be effective, we must be usable. So as I stood there in that chapel with those unwed mothers, as I loved on those babies, and as I invited those men to hear the Good News of Christ, I was single-minded. I was there to be the Lord’s hands and feet… and because He is the Great Sustainer, His hands and feet are not cry babies.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-4
I’d much rather laugh and dance anyway.