In America, it was easy for me to remain blind. I could pick and choose what parts of the world I wanted to see and when. I could turn my head or change the channel. But here. There is no where to hide. In Africa, I can’t stop from seeing them. If I turn my head from one side of the street, I am met with another young boy in tattered clothing with no shoes. The signs of pain are everywhere. Africa doesn’t care if I’ve had my coffee, or if I got enough sleep.
I see the man knocking on my gate. He shows me his tattered, worn through shoes. “I am so poor”, he says. Despite his disabling cough and swarming flies, my husband hires him for the day. Tells him he can come back next week too. He does. My heart sinks as he spares parts of his much needed food for his four kids. He leaves for the day with his pay and a little extra for a taxi. It would take several hours to walk on foot.
I see the mother working hard to support her family. She provides for her pregnant daughter while still mourning her recently deceased son. Probably from some sickness other than AIDS, since it is illegal to list that as the cause of death. In one day she earns what I spent on my morning coffee and bagel.
I see the boys running to greet Caleb on the dusty soccer field. They wear ripped clothes and run feverishly on the crusty dirt, shoeless, dodging the broken glass. Parents do not come to watch their children’s soccer games. Many have walked for hours, fleeing their abusive home life. They spend this afternoon acting like children.
I see the man who quit school when he was a young boy to work so that we could send his younger three siblings to school instead; struggling to make ends meet. I see a culture of people dying of AIDS. Some say it’s close to 50% that are effected. I see the bar next to the soccer boys homes. I see that out of 90 of them, only 4 have both sets of parents still alive. I see the stick the teacher holds in the front of the classroom, even at our church’s Sunday school. I hear about the sexual abuse and see the infidelity that is rampant here…
Here I feel. I feel deep. Deeper than ever before. There is no Netflicks to zone out to. There is no brewery to go out to with friends. (Drinking here is not an option if you claim to be a Christian. If you do- you wreck your chances of having an effective witness and put a stumbling block in your neighbors way of accepting Christ, so now we have chosen to abstain.)
Even my 7 ft wall can’t protect me. I can try to hide, but it’s not so easy. Sure, I run to Facebook, to Skype, to my friends here in town. But these can only distract me for a short time.
I desire to do more. Be more. Serve more. But it is easy to fill ourselves with business. It is harder to wait. To wait for His leading.
And so, when the quiet of the night sets in, I sit. In this uncomfortable place. In this lonely place. In this homesick state.
And then a beautiful thing begins to happen. I hear His voice.
The One who called me here. I hear him more clear than ever before.
Come first to me! Come to me if you are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. I will. Not the world. I have you right where I want you Carolyn.
Am I enough for you?
I have a plan. A great plan. Are you willing to be uncomfortable? Will you wait on me? Do you trust me?
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; …to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit.” Isaiah 41:1-3
I reflect on all that He has done for me. For little ol’ me. And I know my sacrifice is worth what He has planned. I realize that sometimes God puts us in uncomfortable situations for someone else’s sake. So that He can use us to help teach them something too. If we aren’t willing to trust His leading, and just want to “fix it” and we dont let him use us by trusting Him, then we are potentially hindering someone else from learning something very valuable.
God will make messy things beautiful if we are willing to place these things in His hands.
Waiting on the Lord, is NEVER time lost!
And so I rest and find comfort in His Heavenly throne room alone. Curling up at His feet. I reflect on His Great Love for me, and for the Bosotho people. And my heart learns to DELIGHT in running to Him first, with all things. And so I learn to rest and wait…