Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Where love lives...

Hectic... crazy... rushed...

Sound like life?

It all-too-often sounds like mine. Granted, I really do like to be busy, and I don't think it's wrong to want to pack a lot of living into however many years I've been given.

But...

Do you ever get the feeling that our focus gets "off" sometimes? That we lose sight of what's really important in the midst of all the busy-ness?

Obviously God is important, but sometimes when we think, "I know I'm too busy and I'm letting life get in the way of God," we lack any sort of real concept... connection... path...between the crazyness we're in the midst of and a life that might still be crazy but have God wrapped up in the midst of everything.


Somehow, following these Compassion Blogger trips helps me find and see that. It's another reason I love following them.

May you be blessed by this story from Maggie:

this leader separated the boys from the girls and they stood facing each other in a half-circle. she picked one child from each side, gave them both a small stick to hold, and told them to run around the opposite gender group ~ whoever made a complete circle first, won. the kids played a few rounds and it seemed simple.

super, super simple.

then the leader asked two people from our team to race. if you know how to predict scenarios you’ll know to put me down for the GIRLS team. she yelled something and i knew that was our cue to start the race. so off i want, running to the edge of the boys half circle and then behind them, quickly running across to the other side.

i could hear everyone cheering for us.

GO MAGGIE! GO MAGGIE! GO SCOTT!

i could feel my adrenaline building — i needed my legs to keep up with my brain, i could feel them starting to buckle as i turned the last corner to run home and my heart was pounding and the kids were cheering for us. their smiles were so bright they were practically glowing, lighting up the humid, sunny day a little bit brighter. {come to tanzania if you don’t believe me, wink!} i was so close to finishing first, to beating my teammate.

but i totally hit the dirt

i could blame it on the fact that my feet were sweaty inside my shoes and my legs were moving faster than my brain was spitting out commands, but know that’s not true.

i hit the dirt because God wanted to show me something. remember yesterday when i wrote that God has been trying to teach me that my earthly struggles don’t matter? He wants my purpose to be stitched up by Him. and yup, He’s still mending me.


back to the race, i was about to hit the dirt. and then i did fall ~ it happened so fast i hardly had time to process it. but when i stood up and saw the damage, i mean it was pretty hard to miss the dirt covering my arms and shirt and pants, i felt a teeny bit embarrassed. there i was, our day at the child development center had JUST begun, and i was covered in dirt.

everyone was so sweet — asking if i was OK and telling me how close to the finish line i was — telling me how great of a job i did. a few came over and patted me on the back, zack gave me a little wink to silently remind me it was OK that i just fell. {thanks, babe.}

my feelings had time to settle just a bit, but only just long enough to turn into a fierce embarrassment over how dirty i was.

that’s when my heart broke. i could feel my eyes starting to burn, a few tears filling up each eye. i turned around for just a second and acted like i was brushing the dirt off my pants. oh, my arms are filthy too, i better brush the dirt off my arms too while i cry with my back to the rest of the group. but after those few seconds passed the tears didn’t pass. actually, the burning in my eyes increased and those few tears turned into too many tears to count. but God was counting.

one of the little girls came over to check on me. she couldn’t have been more than four-years-old. she saw my tears and moved a little bit closer to me. then another girl came over and started brushing the dirt off my pants. a third came over and did the same to my shirt.

how can it be that the start of a second i’m standing here in africa, feeling so incredibly embarrassed that i fell — my once-clean outfit is now covered in dirt — and the end of that one second i’m feeling the love of Christ like i never have before?

these children don’t care about my clothes. they don’t care that my now-dirty clothes look just like their always-dirty clothes. why couldn’t i see that before?

we don’t speak the same language but my tears spoke to them quicker than the rate my tears were falling onto my cheeks.
they saw me hurting and they rushed to my side.

earlier this year, when i agreed to travel with compassion, i had absolutely no clue the lessons i’d be learning. i thought i was agreeing to travel to teach lessons. geez, how selfish does that sound?

OH, it is so hard to not bring all of these children home with me. i mean, aside from how beautiful and spunky they are, they have so much to teach us…


like how life is SO not about how clean your clothes are, or what your house looks like, or whether you have to share a car with someone else in your family.

life is about loving on each other — all the time — in the name of Jesus.
Can you see why I love following these trips? Jesus said we must come to Him like a child. Perhaps it's not surprising that He shows Himself to us through His children...

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