I am flying home this week for the wedding of a very dear friend of almost 20 years. If I called her from the remotest jungle and asked her to come, I know she would. This is my chance to honor her on a most important occasion. So I am crossing 8,000 miles, leaving my husband and boys in the middle of South Asia. I won't pretend this is the easiest thing I've ever done. The very difficulty of it makes the friendship that much more valuable though. I wouldn't have it any other way.
On weeks like this, I feel like all my life is colliding. There are all these separate pockets of me that feel, well, separate. I like things clean and clear. So perhaps I separate them more out of my own need than right division.
I am a girl from the suburbs who spent her weekends on a farm. I went to private schools and, consequently, still prefer khaki pants. I've lived in the bush of Africa and a sprawling city in one of the most crowded countries in the world. I love beautiful dresses and fancy scenery. I can get into fine dining. I love the moments when I sit on the floor of someone's one room house and eat their rice with my hands. I like jewelry from the local market and when it comes with a designer label too. I am an intense introvert. I live in a communal society and sometime my phone and email and even this blog bother me. I love to read, write and be still. I have two children and it's been a long while since I've been still or quiet for longer than a few hours.
I love being a wife and a mom. And on some days I struggle deeply with the purposes of God in such menial tasks. On other days, all the gospel glory of raising little ones seems to be before me. My husband has a business and I help him sometimes. I love being administrative. It's one of my stronger gifts. I deal a lot with people, and I don't think it's one of my strongest gifts. I am passionate about the poor, the sick and the suffering. And I feel a lot helplessness to know what to do in a season of life when 2 little ones are always under foot, rubbing their hands in dirt and licking objects at random. I grapple regularly with the tension between doing good to others and knowing that I ought to do the most good to these ones that are mine for a short while. Nothing in my life feels separate. But it is in some compartmentalized places in the course of my days.
I feel an immense vulnerability this week as I return to my native town, to my family and friends, alone.
It seems like a collision of worlds, and I am not sure how to process the impact.
Life overseas has changed me. I will not enter in again as I was, because I cannot. My lens is different. It is that global perspective that sometimes causes all that felt so clear to be unclear. Life feels small and change feels slow because it is small and slow. There are bigger problems in the world and they won't be solved by a campaign or a march through town. The normalcy of a hometown and homefolk seems to startle that reality. I have deep memories from these past few years of profound suffering on street corners and newspaper pages. Suffering that I honestly had no idea how to help. I spend more time feeling overwhelmed with problems than I do knowing what I should do. Most of the time, I revert to the things that I know how to do, however menial or insignificant in the face of suffering. I hope I grow out of that one day, but so far I haven't.
I serve a mighty and powerful King, but while His kingdom is coming current and fast, it's not yet.
I live in both the current, fast and the not yet.
I think I will sense that a great deal over the next few weeks. If you think of me, would you pray for perspective? I need a better lens for this, and my Father is wise enough to give it.
Thy kingdom come.