I am looking all around me and my mind is full of images that don’t align.
I see suffering and destruction on every corner – piles of debris, people seeking a connection – everything and everyone seems to be broken. The dust is thick and in the heat it is difficult to breathe, but perhaps it masks the expected smells, those of rotting trash and the unburied dead.
If they exist, homes are either shreds of tarps and tents or partially crumbled and crushed block structures. Even to use the word structure seems odd because there is such a lack of order.
The severely turned earth that used to be street begs for lines and lights. Instead of a rhythm, this road just makes noise, cars groaning and horns honking and people yelling in a language I don’t fully understand.
My senses are heightened and my heart is heavy, but I am not confused or discouraged or afraid. I am not surprised that deep inside I feel peace and love and hope. I am so grateful that no matter where I am I can feel your presence and trust your truth.
Without asking for confirmation, my mind is capturing and cataloging the faces and footprints and fragrance of Jesus:
- I awake to seemingly endless days with the sun on my face and give thanks because I know you see me, and not only me.
- I stare into the splendor of your creation – the fruit trees, mountains and beaches – and praise you because I know you don’t forget your handiwork.
- I taste a delicious, warm, plantain porridge and feeling full and satisfied, I rest in the knowledge that you are good and you meet all my needs.
- I exchange a smile with a half-dressed child and I praise your name because I know you are alive. My God who was and is and is to come.
You show me signs of hope in a young man painting a section of a repaired wall; in groups of uniformed children walking home from school; in a widow willing to risk her life in order to protect and care for orphans.
You teach me lessons of love: creating a sisterhood in my spirit for women I do not yet know; building a unity in my marriage I could not have imagined; allowing for forgiveness in relationships I would have thought impossible.
I hold a dark brown hand in my white one and this makes it clear. This is who you are and this is where you are. So this is who and where I want to be – at home in the contrast.
I have my eye on the Kingdom, but my feet are here on earth, so this is a walk. This is a walk of prayer. This is a walk of faith. And, I understand this is a walk, requiring action, participation. Here am I, Lord send me. But, oh God, please help me not to run ahead.
Please be the light unto my path and the lamp unto my feet as I step patiently in your perfect timing.
Equip me with your word, your truth, your wisdom and discernment, with humility, compassion, mercy and love.
Keep my senses tuned to you, that I would continue to feel you in the presence of your Holy Spirit; to taste your goodness like milk and honey; to smell you as I breathe in the aromas of my oils; to hear your still, small voice; to see you move. Oh, Lord, that I might follow in a way that encourages others to do the same.